My Convertible Life

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recipe: The Best Lasagna


I found this recipe in Wondertime, the best parenting magazine ever that sadly no longer exists. Thankfully, the lasagna -- which really is the best -- is still available.

The recipe makes a single 9x13 dish, but I like to double it and divide into four 8x8 pans -- that way we can have one for dinner (with some leftovers), put one in the freezer for later and give two to friends (who will be so impressed and grateful -- seriously, try it sometime).

Another trick that makes this recipe even easier -- when my husband makes his fantastic spaghetti meat sauce (with peppers, mushrooms, and other magic), I set some aside to mix with a jar of pasta sauce so that I can skip step two below.

The Best Lasagna

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey (or cooked chicken, Italian sausage, seafood, andouille, Gimme Lean, etc.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 26-28 oz. (about 3 cups) pasta sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp red wine (optional)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (I use light)
  • 2 tbsp white wine (optional)
  • 12 oz (3 cups) freshly grated mozzarella (I use pre-shredded)
  • 6-8 no-boil lasagna noodles (I use 8 -- be sure they're no-boil or it doesn't work)
  • 2 cups cooked, well-drained broccoli, spinach, peas, mushrooms or other vegetables (optional)
  • 1 cup (about 4 oz) freshly grated parmesan (I use pre-shredded, but not the powdered kind)

Instructions:
  1. Heat oven to 400. Grease a 9x13-inch pan (or two 8x8-inch pans).
  2. Thoroughly cook the ground beef, garlic and herbs in a large skillet, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat. Stir in pasta sauce and bring to a simmer for about 2 minutes. Season to taste and add the red wine, if using. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add cream cheese, turn heat to low and whisk until smooth, about 6 minutes.
  4. Spoon half the meat sauce into the pan as evenly as possible. Sprinkle 1 cup grated mozzarella over the meat mixture. Top with 3-4 lasagna noodles.
  5. If using vegetables, toss them evenly over the noodles.
  6. Pour the cream cheese sauce over the noodles and cover with another cup of grated mozzarella.
  7. Arrange 3-4 lasagna noodles over the cheese, then spoon remaining meat mixture over noodles as evenly as possible. Top with the rest of the mozzarella and the grated parmesan.
  8. Bake until brown and bubbling, 35-45 minutes (use the longer cooking time if lasagna prepared in advance and chilled).
  9. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

2 comments:

  1. Here's what I can tell you: 1) you want this recipe and 2) you want a friend like the Convertible Girl who will on a whim say, "I made this lasagna for you." Amazing. It almost made me cry. And the lasagna rocks -- there's something about the yummy cream cheese sauce. Just fantastic!

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  2. I clipped this recipe years ago. It is WITHOUT A DOUBT the best lasagna ever. The white wine cream cheese sauce MAKES the recipe. Absolutely the best....

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