By the time I got home I was cold, tired and hungry. And so were the kids. We needed a little comfort food. STAT.
But the only thing in the fridge were the makings for Lasagna -- a meal Jason was supposed to cook. He, however, was stuck downtown and decided to bide his time with a brew at The J Clyde.
So. Me. Some noodles. And some other stuff.
Now, I've never had much luck with lasagna. Seriously. Seems like such an easy thing to do. A layer of this. A layer of that. Another layer of this. Rinse. Repeat. But the first few times I tried making lasagna either the noodles tore or the final product was a sloppy, watery mess.
But (unbeknownst to me) Jason had armed us with a secret weapon:
the Food Network's Ellie Krieger.
Granted, she's no Ina Garten (I think Jason would actually entertain the idea of becoming the Barefoot Count, if Ina'd have him!). But Ellie's Portobello Lasagna Rollup recipe was so easy that even a Tanya (in wool socks) could do it!
- 12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 3/4 pound)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 12 ounces portobello mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups Easy Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store bought marinara sauce (this is what I used)
- 1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 3 ounces grated part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 2/3 cup)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook the noodles al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain them well and spread them out onto aluminum foil or waxed paper to prevent them from sticking.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.
In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, a few turns of pepper, and nutmeg.
Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 12-inch baking dish. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture onto a lasagna noodle. Top with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mushroom mixture, roll the noodle and place it into the baking dish.
Repeat with the remaining noodles. Spread the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sauce over the lasagna rolls. Top with grated cheeses, cover loosely with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.
I can make Lasagna!!
Of course I can't get everyone to like it. Hannah boycotted, Miranda forgot (teen drama going on tonight), and Jason ate chicken wings at the bar.
But Olivia and I loved it! The recipe's really good -- a great antidote to a long, wet, cold day when all you really want to do is hang in the warm kitchen and do a little culinary meditation.
(oh yeah, the rest of the recipe for those less slacker-ish than I...)
Easy Tomato Sauce:
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, drained, tomatoes chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Yield: 6 servings