Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lasagna for Two

Sometimes, you want lasagna but you don't want a giant pan of it. Whether you're a student living by yourself, or maybe a couple and the kids will eat something different anyway, it takes a little skill to take something that's normally quite large and pare down the recipe to get a nice little lasagna all your own.

With Kevin away for the week, it's taken a bit of adjusting to pare things from the usual 4-6 servings that I make down to 2-3 for just me and John. Sometimes it means cutting a recipe in half, other times you have to take it even further. A pyrex 9x5 loaf pan makes the perfect pan for a mini lasagna, baking it up nice and thick with just enough servings for three people, or two with some for leftovers.

We used ground turkey thighs in this recipe, but you could substitute beef and to make things even quicker, pick up your favourite good quality jarred pasta sauce. Some measurements are a little approximate because I figure you can use your own judgment-I love lots of cheese, so I usually eyeball it.


6-8 lasagna noodles
798 ml jar of pasta sauce
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (more or less)

Cheesy Layer:
1 cup cottage cheese
3 oz spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (about 1/3 of a package of frozen spinach)
2 cloves garlic, minced
fresh cracked pepper
1/4 tsp basil
3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese

Meaty Layer:

1/2 lb ground turkey or beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary (optional but nice with the turkey)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped
1/3 cup onion, chopped


Pre-heat oven to 375 F

In boiling, salted water cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain well and rinse with cool water. Set aside.

In a medium frypan, saute the onion in a little olive oil over medium heat until softened. Add the garlic and rosemary, and continue to saute until fragrant. Add the turkey, breaking up with a spoon and cooking until no longer pink. Stir in the pepper, salt, oregano, and basil, cooking and stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add the sweet pepper and saute for a few minutes longer before stirring in about 2/3 cup of sauce, or just enough to coat the meat so it's a very thick, juicy sauce. You don't need to have a lot of liquid here. Set aside to cool.

Mix the cottage cheese, spinach, basil, pepper, and parmesan cheese together in a bowl. Set aside.

Spray the inside of a pyrex glass 9x5 inch loaf pan with non stick oil spray. Spoon about 1/2 cup of pasta sauce into the bottom, or enough to coat it well. Fit two noodles into the pan. I cut about 2 inches off the ends so that they would fit.

Top the noodles with 1/2 the meat mixture. Sprinkle with a handful of mozzarella cheese. Top with 1/2 of the cottage cheese and spinach mixture.

Next, layer 2 more noodles, the remaining meat mixture, another handful of mozzarella, then the rest of the cottage cheese mixture. Cover with yet 2 more noodles.

Lastly, spread about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of sauce on the top-not tons, but enough to cover the noodles well. Sprinkle on another handful or two of mozzarella cheese.

Spray a piece of aluminum foil with non stick cooking spray and tent it over the lasagna, oiled side down. You need to make sure the foil has been sprayed well because you don't want it to stick to the cheese and take it all off when you remove it.

Place the lasagna in the middle of the oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for about another 5-10 minutes longer, until bubbly. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Cut and serve. For us, the lasagna made enough for two dinners, but depending on appetites it can serve anywhere from 2-3 people.

lasagna 2
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