lasagna bolognese

…bolognese lasagna? Whatever. You get it.

THREE WEEKS til the Olympics!

My Olympics, that is, known to most of the U S of A as Thanksgiving.

This will be my third year cooking the Thanksgiving feast in its entirety and I can. not. wait.

Last year for Christmas we basically got everything we needed to fully equip our kitchen for this blessed day: an electric knife, pie server, turkey roasting pan, and even these funky little hooks that help you lift the turkey out of the roasting pan. I took that as an endorsement that we should keep this tradition alive.

I’m planning on all the essentials: turkey (my BIL wants to buy a fryer for it this year- have you done this and also please send the fire department?), stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce. Dinner rolls- my brother typically eats 10-12 and still weighs less than all of us. I’ll probably make some kind of veggie side- last year I did brussels with craisins and blue cheese that were really good.

On the dessert front: hard to resist making this apple pie again. Over the weekend I made pumpkin ice cream that was REALLY good but I don’t know that it will replace actual pumpkin pie. This eggnog cheesecake is also a contender.

Because I already have the holiday on my mind I’m also planning ahead for leftovers. Last year I whipped up this soup the morning after which was a much more interesting play on traditional turkey soup. But also made sure we had plenty of meat reserved for the leftover turkey sandwiches.

Speaking of leftovers! This lasagna.

I bought ground beef last week because I wanted the GS to make his famous (to me) shepherd’s pie. But he didn’t get around to it and I also had some sad looking celery in the fridge, so I threw together this bolognese sauce. It’s so good.

I ate it over fresh pasta for one night but then decided to craft it into a lasagna. It makes sense to have the sauce and meat layers combined!

I start with a thin coating of sauce at the bottom of the pan so the noodles don’t stick. Hard to do a super thin layer with this sauce because it’s pretty chunky but do your best.

Then lasagna noodles, more sauce, and your ricotta layer.

This time around I fancied/healthied up the ricotta with spinach. Saute a whole big bag of spinach with some garlic. Press it into a fine mesh strainer to drain most of the water out, then give it a rough chop. Mix with the ricotta and some salt and pepper!

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Good way to add even more veg to the lasagna, and some color.

Then again: noodles, sauce, ricotta. Depending on how deep your dish is you might get two or three layers. I put some grated mozzarella just on the very top layer.

Bake it at 375 for 30-40 minutes, then set it to broil just to get the cheese nice and toasty.

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One major struggle I have with lasagna is that you really should let it sit and cool for a while before cutting into it so that it sets up a bit. So that this doesn’t happen:

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Whatever. Tastes the same. The roof of my mouth isn’t burned or anything.

I actually had so much bolognese that I made a second one and stuck it in the freezer. People keep telling me I won’t want to cook all the time with a newborn. OKAY.

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What a wonderful time of year for maternity pants.

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