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!