Lasagna is one of my husband’s top three favorite meals, the one I made for him when I was trying to impress him in college and again for a 3-month wedding anniversary dinner in our apartment. It can be time-consuming and dishes heavy, though…and you know how I feel about dishes! (Should I patent that phrase? Seriously.)
When I took a stab at making homemade mozzarella and ricotta last fall, I didn’t think I had enough ricotta for a full pan of lasagna, and this meal was the fabulous result of my experimentation. You might notice that it was a real “What’s in the fridge” kind of meal made at the end of the growing season here in Michigan!
All the flavors of lasagna in much less time and with way less mess!
- 1 lb. (or ½ lb.) ground beef
- 2 small or 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 sweet pepper (red, yellow or orange), diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ~8 Roma tomatoes or ~4 whole tomatoes or 1 15-oz. can of
- 1 zucchini, chopped (optional)
- spinach or kale leaves, washed and cut
- handful of fresh parsley
- handful of fresh basil
- ½ handful fresh oregano
- (you could substitute a few tsp. dried parsley and basil and 1 tsp. dried oregano)
- 1 c. ricotta cheese
- shredded mozzarella cheese to top
- Brown ground beef with onion and pepper.
- Add garlic for the last minute.
- Throw in everything else other than the cheeses and cook, covered, until vegetables are done.
- Dollop ricotta on the top (do not stir) and finish off with mozzarella.
- Cover again over very low heat (or none) until cheese is melted.
- Serve over cooked pasta, any style. You could even use lasagna noodles broken up for authenticity or use the same recipe and roll them up!
Need a little help getting healthy food on the table every day? Real Plans takes the stress out of meal planning and puts the nourishing food BACK on your table. There’s a plan for every diet type, including GAPS, Paleo, AIP, Whole30, vegetarian and more! You remain totally in control: use your own recipes, accept theirs, and teach the system what your family likes…Check out how powerful it is here!
I’m sure this could be a one-skillet meal with the proper amount of water added to cook the pasta along with the tomatoes. My guess would be 2 cups water to a half pound of pasta if using canned tomatoes with juice or 2 ½ cups water if using real tomatoes, based on my last successful hamburger helper substitute. I just haven’t been brave enough to experiment again, although we did have this meal again. Wintertime meant that I used the dried spices, and it was (almost) as good as when I had Farmer’s Market bounty.
Want to feed your hubby well? See my treatise on How to Feed a Husband Real Food.
This is my entry in today’s Carnival of “Meals that Hamburger Helper was TRYING to Imitate”.