No, I didn’t move.
My friends Dan and Nechama moved. I have known Dan for 5 years and he and his wife have moved a total of THREE TIMES. I hear the word MOVING and my skin crawls. There is NOTHING worse than packing your life away to move. Its time consuming and annoying. Well, every time they move, I give them a housewarming pressie. Nothing grandiose, just small little somethings to “warm” up.
Well this year their move was very spur the moment. And I didn’t have a chance to pick up something for the house. While looking for something to defrost for dinner in my freezer I saw the bag of homemade marinara sauce that I made a few weeks ago. And with a quick recap of what I had lying around the kitchen I decided right then and there that I was going to make a housewarming dish to surprise them with. Lasagna.
All i needed to pick up was some lasagna noodles and ricotta cheese. I had my sauce, mozzarella cheese, and an aluminum pan. I highly recommend disposable cookware for presenting dishes or potlucks. It avoids the uncomfortable banter of trying to retrieve your favorite casserole dish, ya know?
My pasta sauce defrosted on the kitchen counter for about 6 hrs. If you are using a homemade meat sauce you might want to defrost it in the microwave or in the fridge.
I purchased 16oz of Part Skim Ricotta. I always always add an egg to my ricotta… I dont know why. you dont have to but my mom always did and her mom always did so thats what I did.
Okay, Preheat the oven to 350*. Rinse your aluminum pan (if you are using taht) and start to build your lasagna.
Start with a layer of sauce. Enough sauce to coat the bottom of the pan to prevent stickage.
Next add a layer of lasagna noodles. Here is my cheat…i use the NO-BOIL Noodles. They take all the “PAIN IN THE BUTT” part out of making lasagna (UPDATE: EMILY JUST TOLD ME YOU CAN USE REGULAR NOODLES- HOORAY!!!!). You just gotta make sure you use enough sauce so they moisten up nicely. I also saved a TON of time by using sauce that I prepared in advance…. I know a lot of you use the jarred stuff but unless you have had a homemade sauce.. you dont know what you are missing!
I broke an end piece pretty badly… what they won’t know wont hurt. And it doesnt make it taste any less delicious.
remember to keep the noodles moist. I put a layer of sauce as often as possible! Cover sauce with a thin layer of sauce.
Add a few globs of ricotta and move it all around with your spoon/clean finger.
Add a generous portion of mozzarella cheese. If you like a meat lasagna, you can add some ground meat to the layer between the ricotta and Mozzarella. Then cover with sauce and repeat with noodles.
Bake covered at 350* for 45 mins, when the cheese looks well melted, take cover off and cook for an additional 10 mins.
And throw in some homemade garlic biscuits to sweeten the deal.
I called Dan and told him I made dinner for him and his wife and he was so incredibly grateful. I knew that they were surrounded by boxes of stuff so i packed plates and utensils to go with dinner. He said it was the best housewarming present. And that tray of lasagna helped them get through unpacking
Next time someone is moving, send them something homemade- thats a gift that will never go unappreciated! (unless you are a crap cook! LOL)
Wanna make some of this? Here’s what you will need:
1 box of No BOIL Lasagna Noodles (about 14 noodles) (OR REGULAR NOODLES IF YOU READ EMILYS COMMENT), 16 oz of part skim ricotta cheese, 4 cups shredded mozzarella, 8 cups of marinara sauce.