Friday, April 22, 2005

Cooking Lessons for Fakers

My family really loves a good lasagna. My normal recipe is somewhat haphazard, ie. if you aren't comfortable not using measurements, don't ask me for it. When I make this particular dish, I start in the morning and let it sit in either my fridge or my back porch (if it is in the winter) until supper time. I firmly believe that part of its greatness is the sitting period. Sometimes, it just sounds really good and I don't have the time to make it the way I want. Presenting, Fake Lasagna.

1 lb (or so) hamburger Onion, green pepper and mushrooms (which ever and however much you have on hand) 1 jar of sauce - either the 16 or 28 oz, depending on how saucey you like it Noodles - any shape or size, so long as it isn't manicotti Cheese - anything other than processed slices works here Boil the water and slop in some olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking. While that is working up to the boil, heat some olive oil in a frying pan, preferably one with deep sides. Chop the onion, green pepper and mushroom. Adjust for kitchen inventory and preference. After these are starting to soften, add in hamburger (Usually the water is ready for the noodles during this step too.) Brown hamburger and season to preference (salt, black pepper, garlic. Fresh is the best, if you have a press) Once the noodles are al dente and drained and the hamburger is thoroughly cooked, combine the two and the sauce in a oven safe dish. The pot I boiled my noodles in works in the oven, so I only have two pans to wash. Cheese -- two options exist here. It can be added here and baked with the dish. This is great if you have cottage cheese or ricotta that needs to be used up. Shredded cheese can be stirred in too. Otherwise add it to the top of each plate before serving. Bake. If you have an hour -- 350 degrees. If you have 45 minutes, 425 degrees (add about a quarter cup of water to prevent the noodles from drying out.)
This is definitely a staple at my house. My kids are pasta eaters and I usually have ingredients on hand. Some time when I make it I am going to run broccoli and carrots through my food processor and add them to the mix too. If I get them fine enough, no one might notice that they are eating healthier than normal. by the way...this is a good example of why you should never ask me for a recipe for something that I make without a recipe.

No comments: