You read the title… but you will never guess what I am about to write next.
Well Yes – the lasagna was good but guess who ate it? The pickiest eater on the planet – zesty junior. He gave it two thumbs up!
I was in shock and it was pretty hard to wipe the smile off my face. Every now and again, life is full of surprises and this dinner was no different.
The rich, creamy flavor of this lasagna was so comforting. The hint of balsamic, the splash of basil followed up with the creaminess of both the ricotta and cottage cheese definitely keeps this recipe in the re do pile for future.
- 8 oz. Lean Ground Beef
- 1 Cup Chopped onion
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tsp. minced garlic
- 1 Tsp. Dried Oregano
- 1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
- 1 19oz Can of tomatoes, pureed
- 1/3 Cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 Tsp. Black pepper
- 15 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 2 Cups Part-skim Ricotta cheese
- 3 Cups Spinach, baby
- 1 Egg
- 2 Cups Mozzarella, grated
- 1 Cup cottage cheese
- Spray a 9*13 -inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 Degrees
- To start the sauce, add olive oil, onions and garlic to a deep dish pot over medium- high heat.
- Let cook until onions begin to caramelize before adding the beef – about 5 minutes.
- Add in beef and continue to cook until no longer pink.
- Add balsamic, oregano, black pepper, tomato paste and continue cooking until fragrant – about 3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and bring to a boil and then let reduce about 15 minutes to thicken up.
- In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, basil and the egg. Mix together and set aside
- After the sauce has thickened, stir in spinach until it wilts. You are now ready for assembly.
- Ladle a spoonful of sauce to the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Then top with a row of uncooked noodles. Smear the top of the noodles with more sauce, followed by the ricotta cheese mixture and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Then add another layer of noodles repeating the process until you have three layers of noodles.
- To finish off the dish, layer the top row of noodles with sauce followed by the mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 375 for about 35- 45 minutes. Let lasagna stand for 10-15 minutes before cutting.
Zesty Tip: A couple of tips with this one…. you want to ensure the top row of noodles get covered with both sauce and cheese to avoid the noodle from drying out and becoming like cardboard. You also want to really let the lasagna stand before cutting or all the juices/sauce will run free and the consistency will not be as good.
On top of Zesty Junior consuming a dinner consisting other than cheese or flour – he also made dessert. A dollop of plain Greek yogurt topped with fresh berries. A great way to finish off a delicious dinner with family.
Well that is all for now. If you are looking for the trail mix ball recipes and gave them a try since Monday. There were a couple of errors in the ingredient list on my part. They have since been updated and rave reviews are flowing in.
Hope you have a great Wednesday and I will see you on Friday.