White Cheese Chicken Lasagna
Fresh pasta is the beginning of all pastas but many are created for the specific purpose of being dried and packaged for sale down the line. Fresh pasta has a soft texture because of the dough. Southern Italy uses semolina and water most of the time. Northern parts of Italy use eggs and all-purpose flour. Whether it is actually better than dried pasta depends on the recipe, the person who is making it and the ingredients put in it. There are recipes that call strictly for dried pasta and some that give the option of either dried or fresh, with slightly different directions for preparation.
There are areas that use tomato sauces in the summer and herb-butter and cream-style sauces the rest of the year and that is the time you particularly want the flavor and texture of fresh pasta. Those who have the opportunity to visit Italy are in for a treat because most restaurants prepare pasta fresh daily and since you are in Italy trying to soak up ambience, avoid eating somewhere that avoids making fresh pasta daily.
Chicken N Cheese Lasagna is a great recipe although fresh pasta is not a benefit because of the tomato sauce. However, Chicken Alfredo with a delicious white sauce is absolutely the dish you want to prepare fresh pasta for before serving it to the family. A pasta cutter is nice and if you do not have one do not let that stop you from getting the recipe for fresh pasta and cutting the Alfredo noodles yourself. The strips are wider than spaghetti and most linguine noodles, and your family will be too busy eating dinner to get out a tape measure and check to see if each one is the same width.
- Herb leaves for garnish
- 16 strips of lasagna noodles, uncooked
- ½ small yellow onion, peeled and cut into small slices
- 1 can or jar of your favorite red spaghetti sauce
- 2 cups cubed chicken, cooked
- 2 teaspoons basil, chopped
- 2 teaspoons oregano, chopped
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese (substitute with small curd cottage cheese, if desired)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. When the noodles are cooked, remove them with a slotted spoon and lay flat on the cookie sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (rack should be at center position).
- Take no-stick vegetable cooking spray and cover the inside bottom and sides of a glass13 x 9 inch baking dish.
- Combine the onion, chicken, herbs, and spices, ricotta cheese
- Place 4 lasagna noodles side by side lengthwise on top of the sauce. Let the edges overlap. Spread one-third of the cheese mix on top and scatter mozzarella cheese on top.
- Continue to layer until you reach the last level of noodles. Cover with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Put a foil cover across the top and bake for 40 minutes. Take off the foil and bake another 5 minutes.
- Remove the lasagna from the oven and set it on a rack to set for 10 minutes.
- Heat the sauce over medium heat and place some on each plate. Cut and place the lasagna on top of the sauce on each dish. Garnish with herbs on the top of each serving.
Prepare and enjoy this delicious lasagna dish that features chunks of chicken resting in a tomato sauce, rather than the traditional white sauce that is usually reserved for chicken. The noodles are soft and flavorful and the chicken and cheeses just taste even better with different herbs to lend a unique flavor. Fresh pasta is not typical for many families and this will be a special treat and fit right in with the idea of a different sort of lasagna. A garnishment of herb leaves signifies the special feature of dinner tonight or the creativity if served for lunch tomorrow.
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