My sweetie does not cook much. He grills great, but never really learned to cook things on the stove. Maybe I need to challenge him to cook on the grill... hmmm. :) Since it is rare for him to don the chef's hat for the day, it was very memorable to me when he made me the one-and-only "date" meal he knew - lasagna and garlic bread. Why did he know how to cook lasagna and nothing else? I can thank the J.J. Pearce High School College Survival class! His teacher, far wiser than her students, knew that a guy would eventually want or have to impress his sweetie with a nice home cooked meal. So, she gave them a reliable lasagna recipe and instructed them to use it!
Over the years, the "Date Lasagna" has morphed from something IceDaddy made for me to something we made together, and, most recently, to something I make for us. How did this happen????
What I love about the receipe is the simplicity and easy-to-assemble ingredients. Nothing complicated and aside from a one hour plus cooking time and three basic assembly steps (cook meat and combine with spaghetti sauce, mix ricotta with eggs, and assemble the lasagna), it's pretty easy.
It's almost like a non-recipe, which is why it's stayed a family favorite. I can assemble it from memory.
"Date Lasagna"Serves 6 - 8; inspired from a recipe courtesy of JJ Pearce H.S. Home Ec
1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
1 - 15 oz container ricotta cheese (regular or part skim)
2 tsp.. dried parsley
Salt and pepper
1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
1/2 lb shredded mozzarella
3 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
Combine cooked ground beef, spaghetti sauce, and water. Mix to combine and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Combine ricotta, eggs, parsley, and about 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Mix to combine and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 pan with non-stick spray. Spread about 1/2 cup of meat sauce on bottom of pan. Place about 5 lasagna noodles (uncooked), edges overlapping in pan. Cover with 1/2 of the ricotta mixture; spread over noodles. Top with 1/2 of the mozzarella and 1 Tbsp. of the parmesan, finishing with 1/2 of the remaining meat sauce. Repeat the layering through the meat sauce. Top with remaining parmesan cheese.
Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 15 - 30 minutes longer.
|Yummy tomatoey goodness|