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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Polar Expedition

My basement freezer is like a black hole.  There are all kinds of things in there, and I have no idea what any of them are.  It always seems like such a good idea to save a little soup or a little spaghetti sauce when I have leftovers, but all too often those containers fall into the deep, dark hole that is the basement freezer.

The other day I felt ambitious and decided to clean out the freezer.  I have just one thing to say and that is, what was I thinking?  It was like going on an expedition to the North Pole.  It was cold, dark and full of things I couldn't identify.  I don't think I'll ever do that again.

But I did uncover some good things.  There were two quart containers of marinara sauce I made about six weeks ago.  (I may not know exactly what's in the freezer from sight, but everything is meticulously labeled with the contents and the date.)  Anyway, I actually remembered that marinara sauce -- it was really tasty -- so I decided to do the big thaw and see if I could recycle it into something interesting for dinner.

Now, I have to start out by saying that my kids do not like lasagna, but I do and so does Ted.  So, since Charlie isn't even here and that just leaves me with Kate, I decided that she could make do for one night.  I got to work making a lasagna.

I foraged in the kitchen refrigerator and pantry and found that I had all the ingredients I needed to make the mother of all lasagnas.  (You know you have a lot of food in the house when you have 4 cups of shredded mozzarella just laying around.)  The good news is that not only did I get to use up a lot of stuff, we got a really delicious dinner out of it.

Recipe:  Nadine's Lasagna


1 box lasagna noodles
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound sweet italian sausage, casings removed
2 quarts marinara sauce (homemade or in a jar)
4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 ounces goat cheese
1 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/4 cup italian parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 375.

Prepare lasagna noodles according to package instructions.  (I use the Barilla No-Boil Lasagna Noodles.)

In a medium bowl, combine, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, the ricotta, goat cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, italian parsley, and eggs.  Set aside.

In a medium skillet, over medium high heat, brown the ground beef and the sausage.  Drain.

To assemble lasagna:

1.  Spread one cup of sauce on the bottom of a 13x9 casserole dish.
2.  Layer 4 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the cheese mixture, half of the browned meat, 1 cup mozzarella, and
     1 cup of sauce.
3.  Layer 4 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the cheese mixture, and 1 1/2 cups of the sauce.
4.  Layer 4 lasagna noodles, the remaining cheese mixture, the remaining browned meat, and 1 cup of
     the sauce.
5.  Layer 4 lasagna noodles, the remaining sauce, the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella, and the remaining
     1/4 cup of Parmesan.

Bake, covered with foil, for 1 hour, and then remove foil and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until cheese is melted.

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