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Lasagna- No Boil

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Does anyone remember when Garfield was on the air? I remember waking up on Saturday mornings and crawling into my parents’ bed with my sister to watch Saturday morning cartoons. We didn’t have cable and cartoon channels weren’t a thing for us. Garfield was a family favorite. You know you secretly wanted to be him. I will freely admit that I find being fat, lazy, and snarky tantalizing. Alas, it doesn’t seem to be in the cards as it is apparently a bad career move. I suppose it wouldn’t be good for my marriage either. But, like Garfield, I can take down a whole lot of lasagna.

This recipe is incredibly simple AND you don’t have to boil the noodles. I know that I shouldn’t think boiling noodles is a big deal but anything that saves a few dishes is for me. I like to swap out half the ground beef for ground pork and you could swap out the cottage cheese for ricotta if you are a purist. Just a thought. Also, if you like this recipe save it because it comes from a tattered old recipe of my mother’s and I have no idea where else it can be found.

Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef (or half beef and half pork)
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½  teaspoon basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 8 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups mozzarella, shredded

Brown meat, drain. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, spices and water. Simmer 15 minutes. Combine cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, egg and parsley. In an 11×7 pan put 1 ½ cups sauce, top with 4 noodles, ½ the cottage cheese mixture, half the mozzarella and 1 cup more of the sauce. Top with other 4 noodles, remaining cheese mixture, mozzarella and sauce. Cook at 350 degrees covered with foil (shiny side down) for 60-70 minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes.

Baked Mostaccioli

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Do you need a dish that ANYONE will eat? No matter how picky they may be? I know picky eaters; I married one. This dish may be one of his favorites. It is one of those meals that claims to be Italian but is really what American Midwesterners think Italian might be like. But hey, let’s be honest. When Americans imagine what other cultures’ foods might be like, they come up with some pretty darn good dishes. California Sushi Roll, anyone?

Depending on where you go or who cooks this for you it could be called a number of things: mostaccioli, baked ziti. Call it what you will it is pretty good. Another good thing? It makes leftovers so lunch the next day is covered.

Baked Mostaccioli

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef, I sometimes do half beef, half pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jar (1 pound 10 ounces) pasta sauce
  • pinch basil
  • pinch oregano
  • 1 package (16 ounces) ziti noodles
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Prepare noodles according to package. Cook the beef and garlic in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until the beef is well browned. Drain fat. Stir in the pasta sauce, basil and oregano. Let simmer 10 minutes. Stir in ½ cup of mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, and parmesan. Pour mixture into a 13x9x2 baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Pasta al Pomodoro

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You know it is Lent when fast-food restaurants start advertising fish sandwiches. Somehow Lent showed-up even though I am completely unprepared. What are my Lenten disciplines for this year? Giving up cursing, preaching without a script and no meat on Fridays. They may not seem hard to you but trust me, they are to me.

Trying not to curse and preaching without a script are new this year but I follow the Lenten discipline of meatless Fridays every year. We have a pretty carnivorous household so it can get creative. Even if you aren’t practicing this discipline I recommend this recipe. My husband LOVES pasta and I’ll devour anything with garlic. It was featured in Bon Apetit back in May of last year. I’ve altered the recipe a little to make it easier for weeknight dinners or just lazy cooks like myself.

Pasta al Pomodoro

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 large fresh basil sprigs (it’s the middle of winter and my basil went south a long time ago so I used dried, just put it in when you salt the sauce)
  • 12 oz. spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp. cubed unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino

Heat olive oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-low heat. Add minced onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-4 minutes. Increase heat to medium, add tomatoes and season lightly with kosher salt (if you are using dried basil throw it in now); cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in basil sprigs, and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil. Season with salt; add spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.

Discard basil and heat skillet over high heat. Stir in reserved pasta water to loosen sauce; bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add butter and cheese; toss until cheese melts.

Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/05/pasta-al-pomodoro#ixzz1nPbWwybN

Gnocchi and Sauce

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Years ago, while visiting a friend in DC, I discovered the culinary miracle that is Potato Gnocchi. These amazing little pasta/dumplings will change your life if you have never had them. Luckily, they’ve started to gain in popularity and you can now find them in the pasta section of many grocery stores. No, they aren’t actually pasta but I’m not going to argue with the grocery store. If you have the time, make your own. It takes a little time but it is worth doing at least once just to say you have. However, for the quick and easy dinner I’m describing here just run and grab the package at Hy-Vee. Even Target carries them these days!

This pasta sauce may seem too easy to be good. But, in all honesty, all good pasta sauce is. The longer a pasta sauce takes and the more it includes, the more you should beware.

Gnocchi in Tomato-Cream Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 package potato gnocchi, prepared

Prepare gnocchi according to package. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, salt, and sugar, simmer until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in basil and cream. Pour sauce over gnocchi.

Fettucine Alfredo

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Tonight’s dinner is one of my husband’s favorites and is a pretty frequent request. How can you go wrong with ingredients like butter, cream, garlic, and cheese? That’s correct, you can’t. I throw in frozen broccoli just to make it seem a little healthier. If you decide to do the “healthy” version throw your frozen broccoli into the pasta pot during the last couple minutes. If you were feeling especially daring I suppose you could throw some chicken into the mix as well. I dunno, I’ve never done it.

Fettucine Alfredo

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 pint cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound fettucine, prepared as directed

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add cream cheese. When the cream cheese is softened, add cream. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Simmer 15-20 minutes over low heat, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and stir in parmesan. Pour over fettucine noodles.