Friday, December 3, 2010

3 Takes: Lasagna

Here at 3 Moms we have decided to put a new spin on "old" recipes.  We are going to take well known dishes that most people know how to make and put our own personal touch to them.  We will show you how we make these dishes in our home because we know most people make things differently.

The first dish we chose was Lasagna.  We will show you 3 different ways to make this 1 dish and we welcome your ideas as well.

If you have a dish you would like to challenge us to do "3 Takes" on feel free to submit it to us.  You can post it on our Facebook wall or e-mail us at cookinmamas@yahoo.com


Christy's Take:
Ravioli and Spinach Lasagna

Ravioli & Spinach Lasagna

I usually make the basic lasagna that everyone makes with sauce, noodles, meat and cheese but recently I tried this ravioli/lasagna hybrid and we all love it so much that this is the only way I make lasagna now.

What you will need:
2 bags frozen (or refrigerated) ravioli's, thawed out.  I get 1 bag of cheese and 1 bag of meat.
1 bag frozen spinach
1 lbs hamburger cooked and drained
1 jar spaghetti sauce
 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (more or less depending on taste)




Step 1: Prep Spinach and Cook Meat-
You will want to thaw out the spinach and rinse in a colander. 



Then scoop it all up into a clean, dry kitchen towel (a sturdy paper towel may work but most likely will break apart).
Make sure the spinach is nested into the center of the towel, wrap around and squeeze ALL the water out..  You have no idea how much water is in there.  I use twisting, wringing motions to get it all out.  Don't panic if it turns your towel slightly green, this will wash out.


Spinach after al water has been
squeezed out.

Cook hamburger meat and drain grease-Hamburger can be optional, my hubby is a total meat eater so I include this but you could easily leave it out if you wanted/needed.

1st layer of lasagna
Step 2: Assemble Lasagna-
In a 9x13 pan spoon a couple of tablespoons of sauce in the bottom-I like to add a drizzle of olive oil as well but that is optional.  The favorite (and usually only unless its sold out) type of sauce we use in our house is Ragu Sweet Italian Sausage & Cheese.-gives a very unique sweet and tangy taste to this dish.  Any sauce will work but if you can and want, give this flavor a shot.  When I cannot find this kind I use Ragu Sweet Sundried Tomato & Basil
Spread sauce (and oil) around the bottom of the pan with the spoon to evenly coat.  You do not need a lot, just enough so that the ravioli's do not stick.
Layer ravioli's 4 across in rows.  I like to alternate mine 1 row cheese, 1 row meat.  You can also just use all cheese or all meat ravioli's if you want.
Once there is a solid layer of ravioli's all the way across the pan take 1/2 of the spinach and sprinkle on top.

Lasagna all done and ready to devour

To this add 1/2 of the shredded cheese.
In a separate mixing bowl combine hamburger and 1/2 of the sauce and mix together.
Spread ALL of the hamburger/sauce mixture on top of the 1st layer of the lasagna.
Repeat with the ravioli's, remainder of spinach, sauce and then the rest of the cheese.

Step 3: Bake Lasagna-
Cover lasagna with foil and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.
Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly on top.
Top with shredded Parmesan if desired.


This goes great paired with cheesy garlic pinwheels (recipe coming soon) or Tanya's garlic bread and a side salad.




Tanya's take:
"Mexican Style" Lasagna.



My mother HATES pasta, she gets sick when she has eaten it (I think it's in her head because she eats plain spaghetti with butter just fine). On the other hand my brother and I LOVE It!!  We always wondered what lasagna would taste like, because we would watch the Garfield cartoons and that is what his weakness was.
One day at a spaghetti factory I had a delicious piece of lasagna and feel in love!  I wanted to recreate it but this was before the Internet was so common and also I did not have any cookbooks so I decided to use ingredients I thought would taste good together, I knew it was meat cheese and pasta so away I went.

You will need..

about 1 to 2 lbs of ground beef
1 large can of tomato sauce (the biggest one) or 4-5 regular cans
fresh or canned  sliced mushrooms ( fresh is even better)
shredded jack cheese
shredded Cotija cheese (like the one from the cheesy potatoes post)
Oregano
garlic powder
basil
salt
extra virgin olive oil
pepper
cooked lasagna

In a pot pour a bit of olive oil and throw in the ground beef, add oregano, garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper  (whatever amount you'd like just don't be skimpy with it) cook the meat fully. After it is cooked I like to drain the fat by throwing the meat in a large colander and throwing it back in the pot, add tomato sauce and mushrooms and cook for another 10 minutes add a little more oregano and more garlic.


Next Step layer your lasagna!
place cooked lasagna on bottom of pan, add meat sauce, cotija cheese and jack cheese and repeat! cover pan with foil so top lasagna doesn't burn or you can finish with  cheese on top of the lasagna as well.
pop in the oven at 375 degrees until cheese is melted serve with garlic bread!



Enjoy <3
*Please excuse pictures blogger keeps turning them sideways when uploading.


Jess' take:
Italian Style Lasagna.

Lasagna is probably my husbands favorite food.  I always make a gigantic pan even though only two of us eat it in our house, because it freezes perfectly and after a long day at work, its nice to pop some homemade frozen lasagna in the over and not have spent over an hour putting it together and waiting for it to bake.

Ingredients:
2 Boxes of Lasagna Noodles
1.5 lbs of ground beef
1lb of ground sausage (I used Italian Style this time, but I normally use hot because my husband likes it hot)
2 jars of sauce (I like homemade, but I didn't have any..)
1 bag of shredded mozzerella cheese
1 bag of shredded Italian mix cheese (or 2 bags of mozzarella)
1 large container of ricotta cheese
1 egg (it can be left out but your lasagna will probably not hold together as nicely.)

salt
pepper
garlic powder
dried oregano
dried basil

Preheat your over to 400 degrees.


Step 1:  Start to brown your sausage in a pan with a little butter or olive oil.  It takes some muscle breaking it apart then add your ground beef.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and basil.  Cook it none is pink.  Drain and set aside.



Step 2 :  Heat your sauce in a pan.  This is my trick to not having to cook the noodles.  As long as the sauce is hot when you put it all together in the pan.. no boil necessary, cause those noodles cooked are a pain to work with.  Mix your ricotta cheese in a dish with 1 egg and salt and pepper.  The egg with help bind it all together.  Mix your two bags of cheese together in another bowl.




Step 3: In a large and deep 13x9 casserole dish begin your layers with a small layer of the hot red sauce on the bottom then fit your noodles in.  I break them if i have to to fit along the bottom.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  Next top with more sauce, then a layer of the browned meats, then shredded cheese, and then some dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture over the top.


Step 4: Begin your layers again, noodles, spaghetti sauce, meat mixture, shredded cheese, ricotta cheese.  Keep layering until you get close to the top, making sure you end on cheese layer.


Step 5: Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and place in the preheated over for 45 minutes.  After 45 minutes, lift the corner of the foil and see if everything is getting bubbly and melty. 

If so, remove the foil and let it cook for another 15 minutes.  I usually pop the broiler on for an additional couple minutes just to get it as brown and bubbly as I can.

Step 6:  Remove from the oven and let the lasagna rest for at least 10 minutes before you cut it, so it doesn't lose it shape on your plate.  My husband never waits for that part...



Remember to freeze the leftovers for an quick weeknight dinner!

- Jess xoxo


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