Friday, December 19, 2008

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Lasagna / Christmas Lasagna

For Christmas, I decided to make the ladies I work with in the Accounting Department each a lasagna. They are all so busy with kids and their activities, I felt like it would be super appreciated, and it was! I made them a basic lasagna with meat sauce and ricotta.

Since I was already making 4 lasagnas, I figured why not make 5 and make one for JJ and I for dinner. Since I knew we'd be out of town and would not be able to eat the whole thing, I invited over our friends Allison and Will. I love to add veggies to my lasagna, or different twists, so I made it with artichokes (Allison's favorite) and goat cheese mixed in with the ricotta. It was delicious!

So if you're giving a lasgana away, or seving a big group, plain ricotta might be the way to go, but if you're a little adventerous and want a new twist on lasagna, try out the artichoke lasagna!

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Lasagna

Meat Sauce, for 5 trays of lasagna, made in 2 pots:

2 lbs. ground beef

4 tbsp. EVOO

4 large onions, minced

10 cloves of garlic, minced

4 tbsp. Penzey's Italian herb seasoning

2 15. oz. cans Italian style tomato paste

4 15 oz. cans Tomato sauce

1 168 oz. cans crushed tomatoes from Sam's club (or sub 12 28 oz. cans)

Salt and pepper

1 tsp. crushed Red Pepper flake

1 tbsp. fennel seeds

Heat skillet to medium, add olive oil and beef (1 lb. in each pot). Brown and crumble. Drain if necessary. Add onions and garlic. Sautee for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add seasoning, salt and pepper, tomato paste, sauce and crushed tomatoes. Cover and simmer until ready to use.

Ricotta Mixture (Makes 4 lasagnas)

2 16. oz. tubs whole milk ricotta

2 16. oz. tubs part skim ricotta

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese

2 eggs, beaten

salt and pepper

Whisk eggs, fold in all other ingredients. Set in the fridge until ready to use.

Goat Cheese and Artichoke Filling (For a single lasagna):

1 8 oz. tub part skim ricotta

1 6 oz. log herbed goat cheese

1 egg, beaten

salt and pepper

1 can quartered artichoke hearts, lightly chopped

Other Ingredients for 5 lasagnas:

8 c. shredded Mozzarella mixed with 1 c. shredded parmesan

5 boxes lasagna noodles (I used whole wheat)

Bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil. Heavily salt and drizzle in 1/4 c. EVOO

Add lasagna noodles, cook for 8 minutes, until very al dente.

Meanwhile, lay out pans, coat bottom with a layer of sauce.

Using tongs, pull out noodles and place on a cookie sheet, drop in more noodles - Don't drain water!!!

Lay noodles in the pan. Use a cookie scoop and plop ricotta into noodles, sprinkle with cheese, top with sauce.

Repeat layers 3 more times.

When you're at the top layer, Top with just sauce and then cheese.

Bake at 350 for an hour covered with foil, or refrigerate or freeze.

- Your co-workers will LOVE you! -

*Note, you might want to have an extra bag/block of cheese, and some extra ricotta on hand in case you don't portion out the lasagnas well and you run out - I could have used a little more cheese for topping, oh well!


jcp said...

you are amazing! and you look great, too. glad to have a chance to catch up on how you are doing. merry christmas! your card is in the mail....actually i need dan and kristine's address when you have a sec. hi to JJ. miss you! Jenny

Erin said...

use barilla no cook lasagna noodles. That's all i ever use. Saves a step of not cooking. =)

Kelly said...

That's a fun present idea. I love that so many people are doing homemade gifts this year. I also love the idea of artichokes in lasagna. I made some feta, spinach, artichoke stuffed shells from Cooking Light and they were outstanding. Happy holidays Ashlee. I've really enjoyed following your blog this year.

Colleen said...

I have been eyeing this update at the bottom of my reader for several days now! I love all these flavors and can't wait to try this!