Tag Archives: ricotta cheese

Lasagna, ft. Sausage, Kale and Cheese Trifecta

In my pantry today:

  • The butt-ends of two boxes of lasagna noodles
  • 1 freezer bag crock pot marinara (approx 3 c)
  • 1 freezer bag cooked ground Italian sausage (approx 3/4 c)
  • 3 medium leaves kale
  • 1 c ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 c asiago cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c mozzarella
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 dash salt

lasagnaThaw then marry your marinara and sausage in a medium-sized pot on the stove. Also start a large, oiled pot of water with an accompanying dash of salt. When your water begins to show signs of a boil, hold each leaf of kale by its stem and dip into the water for a count of 12. Wrap them in a clean towel and gently squeeze out all the water. Move them to the cutting board, remove stems and mince; set aside. Your pasta can go in now and cook until it’s a little too al dente to be al dente, then drain it and rinse with cold water until everything is chilled to room temperature.

Shred asiago cheese, set aside with mozzarella. Mix egg with ricotta cheese and dash salt. Rub a little olive oil inside a 6×6″ baking pan and begin layering by laying the most whole of your noodles along the bottom of the pan. Pour on 1/4 your sauce, scatter in half your kale bits, sprinkle 1/3 the asiago on, drop in dollops of ricotta and spread gently across the breadth of the pan, then add as complete a layer as you can with the noodle amputations and do this all again. Add a final layer of noodles, then add the rest of your sauce and top with the rest of your asiago and all of your mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake foil-covered pan in 350° oven for 45m, then take foil off and cook another 10-20m until optimum browning has occurred. Though next time I’d use more kale and sausage, this was still pretty good and worth all 4 spoons!

 

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Broccotta Casserole (Or, “Where DID I put my camera?!”)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c broccoli florets
  • 1 c quinoa (cooked)
  • 1/4 c rice (cooked)
  • 3/4 c ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 c shredded cheese (jack/colby/mozzarella blend)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)

Broccoli, you say? With ricotta cheese, you say?And while there is rice in the dish, there is little and this isn’t just one of those “sauce over rice’ numbers you’re all so used to seeing from me. Actually, I’ve never made a broccoli casserole before (did I say that out loud?) so this was largely an effort in adventure. There was a head of broccoli in the fridge, and ricotta cheese that’d been sitting on the top shelf unopened for two weeks. There was (ass usual) onion and garlic. There was leftover quinoa and rice. Really, didn’t this build itself?

Start your finely diced onion and garlic in olive oil on ML then turn to dicing the broccoli into whatever sizes your palate dictates; set aside. In a bowl, mix together ricotta, beaten egg, garlic paste and a pinch of salt; set aside. Now that the onion and garlic are becoming soft, stir in the turmeric for that fun bright yellow color for which I would like to become the poster child. Stir in dill and let sit for a minute while you begin building within the pan’s walls.

Lay broccoli florets across the bottom and layer in the quinoa/rice mix. Go to the stove, fetch the garlic and onion and gently fold everything together. Sprinkle 1/4 c of shredded cheese on that. Layer the ricotta/egg blend over it all and sprinkle the top with remaining shredded cheese, black pepper and breadcrumbs like some kind of otherworldly pot pie crust. This is a good vegetarian fall dish that’s hearty, filling and feels decadent. 4 spoons!

Now, about fitting into something for that wedding I’m having in two weeks./squee