Like I said, this month has been all about the convenience factor for me. I’ve been too under the weather to do any major cooking, so even my attempts at home were semi-homemade at best.
Case in point, this lasagna:
I doctored up some jarred Ragu to make the Bolognese sauce, and used egg pasta sheets from the fresh aisle at Whole Foods. I’m sure that everyone reading has made lasagna before, so I’m just going to give you the recipe for the Bolognese. I’m just glad that I finally got the opportunity to break in my new Emile Henry lasagna pan.
Shortcut Bolognese Sauce
2 jars Ragu (Marinara or Meat, your choice)
2 large onions, diced
2 sweet peppers (red or green), diced
1 stick Margherita pepperoni, diced
5 carrots, diced
1/2 lb. loose Sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup red wine
2 tbsp. olive oil
Saute veggies in olive oil until they begin to soften, and then add meat – saute until browned. Drain fat, and then deglaze pan with wine and cook over medium heat until it reduces by half. Add tomato sauce, and allow to simmer for at least an hour, but less than two.
So anyway, we had quite a bit of sauce left after making the lasagna, so we waited a couple of days and made the Italian equivalent of pastitsio by cooking and buttering (plus adding Parmesan cheese to) fresh fusilli (we got ours at Jungle Jim’s, but non-Ohioans can also get it on the web on the Isola site.) We placed the already cooked fusilli on the bottom of a casserole dish.
On top of the pasta, we placed the reheated bolognese and sprinkled it with a bit of Parmesan:
And on top, went a very tasty bechamel sauce (we used this recipe, which husband was kind enough to cook PERFECTLY.) We sprinkled this with a little more Parmesan as well.
After about 40 minutes of baking (let it go more if you like the bechamel to get a darker brown), this was the finished product:
Not pretty to look at, but boy did it hit the spot! Like my husband quipped to me tonight, “there’s nothing like having your leftovers generate leftovers.” Too bad I’m too late to get in on the Leftover Tuesdays event.