Tag Archives: mozzarella cheese

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

29 Oct
One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

This is a soup I’ve wanted to make for ages, and FINALLY got inspired to just do it. Soup? Check. Easy? Check. One pot? Check. One hand? Check, dammit. I get my traction device off in less than two weeks, woohooo! But in this seemingly long entrapment from my injury, I have found that one can be quite resourceful while dealing with a disability. Did you know you can break dried lasagna noodles into even pieces one-handed? Simply place the noodle in a glass bowl then push the edge of the noodle hanging out over the lip of the bowl. Snap! Keep moving it up and snapping off the end. See? Easy-peasy! (Newcomers to this site can read about my injury here.)

My recipe here came from several internet-inspired sources. As always, feel free to adapt, as that is pretty much all I’ve been doing lately. Without further ado…

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground hot Italian sausage
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 cups homemade or low-sodium beef broth, divided
1 24-ounce jar good-quality meatless spaghetti sauce
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1 bay leaf
10 uncooked dried lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
Fresh Mozzarella slices
Ricotta cheese scoops
Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the ground beef, sausage, and onion over medium heat until meats are browned and onion is translucent. Add the garlic and stir for a minute more. Drain grease, if necessary.

Add 4 cups of the beef broth and the rest of the ingredients except the cheeses, stirring to separate the noodles. Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about a half hour until noodles are soft and soup has thickened, about 30 to 45 minutes. Add the remaining two cups of broth, as needed during that time, until soup is desired consistency.

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

Discard bay leaf and add Mozzarella and Ricotta cheeses to the pot, then let sit without stirring until starting to melt. Ladle scoops of soup and melty cheese into bowls and garnish with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread and a side salad.  This is good. Really good. We are talking seconds and thirds good. Trust me.

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Zucchini and Spinach Lasagna with Paul’s Spicy Sauce

10 Oct
Zucchini and Spinach Lasagna with Paul's Spicy Sauce

Zucchini and Spinach Lasagna with Paul’s Spicy Sauce

So my back-yard neighbor keeps giving us zucchini and squash from his garden. I swear we are cooking and eating it as fast as we can! He had given us some pattypan squash twice and some other hybrid now, which I’ve used for a side dish both in soup and roasted with potatoes. (I took photos, maybe a future post? Dunno.)

But then we got this GINORMOUS zucchini.

Zucchini Grande

Zucchini Grande

At that point I thought, “OK, it’s time to use this big time in a big pan of lasagna.” Subbing sliced zucchini for lasagna noodles has been around for quite some years, and since I got my cheap-o mandoline slicer last year I decided the zuke would be a perfect use for that big bad-ass zuke. (Ha! I’m getting a bit crass in my 50s, huh?)

Sooo, I wanted to grill the zuke first, because of all the thousand (exaggerated) Pinterest posts about this, they were all saying it came out too watery. But one post caught my eye that grilling the zucchini first worked way better than doing the salting and resting thing.

WELL. That didn’t work out so well. We had run out of propane, and hubby was supposed to get it but he didn’t. So it ended up doing the salting and resting thing. It came out a bit watery, but the taste was AMAZING! I went back for seconds and thirds. I think I want to make a soup out of this instead of a lasagna next time. That way I can have a really thick soup instead of a watery lasagna? What do you think?

This has a super-short ingredient list (for me at least) so it’s sure to please!

Anyways, this is what I did:

Zucchini and Spinach Lasagna with Paul’s Spicy Sauce

1 very large zucchini
4 cups spaghetti sauce, preferably homemade. (I used Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti sauce >—here.)
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
15 ounces Ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Slice your Big-A zucchini 1/8-inch thin with either a mandoline slicer or a knife. You’ll want enough to cover two-layers in a 9- x 13-inch pan. Lay the slices on racks and lightly salt each side.

Sliced Zucchini

Sliced Zucchini

Let rest for 1/2 hour, then use paper towels to mop up the moisture from the slices. (Alternatively you could dry-roast them on a grill.)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, mix the Ricotta and Parmesan cheeses along with the large egg until combined.

In a 9- x 13-inch pan, spread about a cup of the spaghetti sauce over the bottom.

Layer zucchini slices to cover.

First Layer of Zucchini

First Layer of Zucchini

Now spread half of the Ricotta cheese mixture over them…

First Layer of Cheese Mixture

First Layer of Cheese Mixture

and top with a third of the Mozzarella cheese.

First Layer of Mozzarella

First Layer of Mozzarella

Next spread all the spinach over top…

Spinach Layer

Spinach Layer

and top with 1 1/2 cups sauce.

Spicy Sauce Layer

Spicy Sauce Layer

Repeat the layer of zucchini…

Second Layer of Zucchini

Second Layer of Zucchini

cheese mixture and another third of Mozzarella…

Second Cheese Layer

Second Cheese Layer

and the rest of the sauce.

Second Sauce Layer

Second Sauce Layer

Top with a final layer of Mozzarella.

Lasagna Ready to Bake

Lasagna Ready to Bake

Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Zucchini and Spinach Lasagna Out of the Oven

Zucchini and Spinach Lasagna Out of the Oven

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan

24 Apr
Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan

Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan

This was a quick and easy meal I threw together last week that my family inhaled. I was going to do the traditional method by frying the chicken in oil, but at the last minute decided to healthy it up a bit and bake it. I can tell you we did not miss the extra oil, and they came out so crispy and very tender! I was excited at first to have some leftovers to take to work the next day, but then my dear daughter decided she wanted a second helping and the entire meal was finished off. Next time I will double the batch. This recipe feeds three if you have a really hungry person in the household, or four if not. I thought a quarter pound of chicken on top of a mound of spaghetti with a meat sauce would be plenty for each person, but apparently not.  :/

My basil plants are but wee seedlings at the moment, and I totally spaced that I had some dried sweet basil in the spice cabinet when I took the photos. By the time I remembered that fact, the dinner was pretty much a done deal. I did remember it for my leftover portion, as shown later down below in my lunch container all ready for work, but my lunch went by the wayside, alas. But I’m happy my daughter is healthy and active and growing and I can provide enough nourishment!

Baked Chicken Ready to Flip

Baked Chicken Ready to Flip

Crispy Baked Chicken Parmesan (or Parmigiana if you want to sound Italian)

1 pound chicken breast meat
1 egg
Splash of milk
1/2 cup crushed cornflakes
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash Table Blend, or salt, to taste
About a 3/4-inch round of dried spaghetti
3 or 4 cups of prepared spaghetti sauce, any kind, heated
Shredded Mozzarella cheese (I used low-fat variety)
Fresh or dried basil, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, get your water on to boil in a pot for the spaghetti, and heat up your spaghetti sauce, either stovetop or microwave.  I only had rather large bone-in chicken breasts, so deboned one and got two filets plus the chicken tenderloin out of it. If you have small chicken breasts, just pound them with a mallet until about 1/4-inch thin. If large, then butterfly in half, and pound a little, if needed. The tenderloin did not need it, of course.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg and a splash of milk. On a plate, mix the crushed cornflakes, Panko bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and seasonings. Dip the chicken in the egg wash, then dredge it on both sides through the cornflake/breadcrumb mixture. Place on a baking pan lined with crumpled aluminum foil sprayed with oil. If you have a baking rack, that would work too, but I don’t. Spray the top of the chicken with oil.

Add the pasta to your pot now as your water should be boiling. Now pop the chicken in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes, then flip over, spray with more oil, then bake 10 minutes more. Remove and drain your pasta at some point in those 20 minutes when it’s done and mix it in with about three-quarters of the heated spaghetti sauce, and divide into bowls or on plates. Now carefully spread a large spoonful of the spaghetti sauce to each piece of chicken, then top with some shredded Mozzarella cheese, turn the oven to broil, and bake until the cheese is gooey and starting to bubble, just a few minutes.

Chicken Parmesan Leftovers - NOT

Chicken Parmesan Leftovers – NOT

I wanted to get some nice browned bubbly spots on the cheese, but the fam was starving and had to please. Place each chicken filet atop each mound of spaghetti (or cut pieces off if they are large) then garnish with fresh or dried basil. We ate this with a small green salad. We skipped doing the garlic bread thing with this, as there are enough carbs with everything else. Enjoy!

Spinach Sausage Pasta Bake

23 May
Spinach Sausage Pasta Bake

Spinach Sausage Pasta Bake

I was a cooking fool over the past week, preparing three new dishes with the thought of having lots of blog material for the future. Unfortunately, the first meal was a complete disaster, but the pictures came out nice. The second dish was so-so but the pictures were terrible. I finally hit it on the third meal, which I present to you today. If you have a cast iron skillet with a lid, preparing this Spinach Sausage Pasta Bake can be done in one pot, except for the noodles. Easy to prepare, and easy to clean up!

I adapted this recipe from one I found online. I really wanted to use fresh spinach in this, but once again I sent my husband out to do the shopping and he came back with frozen spinach. He claims the grocery store did not have any fresh spinach. I’m highly suspect of that, but I made do anyways. You can use any type of small to medium pasta you want for this recipe. I just happened to have mini penne pasta and it worked great.

Spinach Sausage Pasta Bake

2 cups dried pasta
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1/2 large onion, diced small
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 brick Neufchatel cheese
1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese (combination of Mozarella and other white cheeses)

Sausage Spinach and Tomatoes

Pretty! Sausage, Spinach and Tomatoes

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside if done before the sausage is cooked. Meanwhile, cook the sausage, onions, and garlic in a large cast iron skillet until sausage is thoroughly cooked. Drain the grease and return the skillet to the stove. Add the thawed spinach, Italian seasoning and fire-roasted tomatoes and stir until combined. I happened to have a Roma tomato that needed used so chopped that up and added it at this time too. Then add the pasta, cream cheese, and half of the shredded cheese.  Mix well until all the cheese is melted and incorporated.  Cover and place in a 350 degree preheated oven for a half an hour. Remove cover, top with the remaining cheese, and cook 10 to 15 minutes longer until cheese is melted and bubbly. Fantastico!

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