Who knew that lasagna noodles needn't be cooked before baking the lasagna? Here are two oh-so-easy lasagna recipes, one for a 'personal pan lasagna' perfect for cooking for one or two, another for lasagna made in the crockpot.
“I never cook anymore, now that it’s just me,” say women, especially, once their families are grown and their husbands gone. Often, it’s just easier to rely on frozen meals. That means no cooking, no waste and no clean-up – but to my mind, no pleasure, either. So I’ve been working on recipes especially suited for cooking for one or two, ones which I hope perfectly blend convenience and freshness, flavor and pleasure.
CROCKPOT LASAGNA For busy, hungry families, just double the spinach mixture, then build layers in a slow cooker, increasing other quantities proportionately. Be generous with the bottom layer of spaghetti sauce so there’s enough liquid for the first layer of noodle to cook but not burn. Cook on high for about 2 hours, then turn to low, sprinkle with cheese and let finish cooking for about an hour. Slow cookers vary so much, please consider the timing as suggestions not absolutes. Serves four or more.
PERSONAL PAN LASAGNA
Time to table: 1-1/4 hours
- 1 pound frozen spinach
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped fine
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 8 ounces part-skim ricotta
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup spinach mixture
- 1/2 cup favorite spaghetti sauce
- 1 uncooked lasagna noodle, broken to fit
- 1 tablespoon grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place spinach in a microwave safe dish, cover with plastic wrap and cook in microwave for about 5 minutes or until fully thawed. Put into a colander and press to remove excess liquid. Stir in onion, Italian seasoning, ricotta, salt and pepper. Makes 2 cups, enough for two generous personal pan lasagnas.
For each personal serving, layer in an oven-safe bowl about the size of a cereal bowl: a spoonful of spaghetti sauce, just enough to wet bottom; noodle; spaghetti sauce; ½ cup spinach mixture; spaghetti sauce; noodle; ½ cup spinach mixture; spaghetti sauce. Bake for 45 minutes. Top with mozzarella, bake another 15 minutes.
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