Casual Cookery – Meatless Lasagna

We may be geeks, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to create great things in the kitchen. Some of the best dishes can be made quickly and easily as long as you know what you’re doing. Let’s get cooking!

You don’t have to be an orange tabby cat that hates Mondays to appreciate a good lasagna, and as a bonus, it’s not even all that tough to make, though you’re going to want to block out a little bit of time to get it done, as the preparation can take some time.

Set your oven to preheat at around 350 degrees before you do anything else. Then it’s time to get your ricotta filling prepared. Place the contents of a large-sized container of ricotta into a bowl. Crack an egg and mix it in to help the filling stay nice and creamy. Then, throw on some black pepper, crushed red pepper, grated parmesan cheese, thyme and oregano and mix it all together to add to the ricotta’s flavor.

When that’s done, take out your deep baking sheet, your sauce and your oven-ready lasagna pasta. You can line the baking sheet with Crisco or you can do what I do and spread a little bit of sauce on the bottom. Then, start layering the bottom with the pasta until it’s filled.

Using the oven-ready lasagna helps to take some of the prep time out of the meal, and since I’m too lazy to add that 15 minutes or so to cook the pasta, oven-ready really is the way to go.

Once the pasta’s first layer is down in the baking pan, throw some of the ricotta mixture on top and spread it around. A little more sauce goes on top of that and then another layer of pasta. Repeat this until you get the lasagna to the size you want – I usually go three or four layers depending on how much ricotta I have.

Once you get to your final level of pasta, it’s time to get saucy. Cover the top layer with the sauce – I like to use a nice vodka sauce, just like in my chicken parmesan and stuffed shells.

Once the sauce is over the top, take your shredded mozzarella – you can shred it yourself or just buy a preshredded bag, guess what I do – and cover the top with the cheese, adding a little grated parmesan to the top as well.

With the lasagna prepped, cover the pan with some aluminum foil and put it in the oven for about a half an hour. Then, take the foil off the top and put the lasagna back in the oven for another half an hour.

Once it’s done, let it sit for a few minutes and then cut it up for a delicious dinner with – hopefully – a good amount of leftovers. Or you can feed it to your orange tabby cat to make their Mondays a bit better.

  • ProjectBlue

    Looks good. Usually use bagged as well but have better final results with fresh grated as it doesn’t have the starches coating the pre-grated shreds to avoid clumping. Ends up giving more liquid off during the bake which helps the no-bake noodles get a little better texture.

  • I’ve gone both routes, and can confirm that dry pasta is usually the way to go. You just need to make sure that you don’t skimp on the sauce, as the dry noodles will soak some of it up.