For what it’s worth…

We made lasagna last week (we needed to use up some cheese before it went bad) and were curious to see how much this hearty, cheesy, heavy, hunk of love cost. Matt cut 6 monster-size portions, and at that size, it came to approximately $4/piece. We easily could have gotten by with 8 servings at $3/piece. We can definitely do better than this—maybe by using beans or mushrooms instead of meat, or half a pound of meat, rather than the whole pound the recipe calls for. We could also dump in a frozen veggie mix. The high-quality, local ingredients do add up; next time I’ll make them go a little further. But, the taste—oh, the taste!—was so good. I loved the texture of Wagon Creek Creamery’s ricotta and the persistent flavor of fresh oregano.

Italian Sausage Lasagna
Betty Crocker’s Cookbook

We got 6 large servings out of it.

:: 1 pound bulk Italian sausage or lean ground beef: Italian seasoned beef: $6.45
:: 1 medium onion chopped (1/2) cup: ~.75
:: 1 clove garlic, finely chopped: ~.10
:: 3 T chopped fresh parsley: negligible (we used dried)
:: 1 T chopped fresh or 1 t dried basil leaves: free from the garden
:: 1 t sugar: negligible
:: 1 can (14.5 oz) whole tomatoes, undrained: .80
:: 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce: .42
:: 8 uncooked lasagna noodles: 1.84 (whole wheat)
:: 1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese: $6
:: 1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese: $1.50
:: 1 T chopped fresh or 1 1/2 t dried oregano leaves: free from the garden
:: 2 c shredded mozzarella cheese: pizza cheese: $6

1. Cook sausage, onion, and garlic in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain.
2. Stir in 2 T of the parsley, the basil, sugar, tomatoes, and tomato sauce, breaking up tomatoes with a fork or snipping with kitchen scissors. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 45 minutes or until slightly thickened. (Tricia’s note: Slightly is key here. Ours was very thick at 30 minutes.)
3. Heat oven to 350˚. Cook noodles as directed on package.
4. While noodles are cooking, mix ricotta cheese, 1/4 c of Parmesan, the oregano and remaining 1 T parsley. (YUMMMM)
5. Drain noodles. Spread 1/2 of the sausage mixture (about 2 c) in ungreased rectangular baking dish, 13 x 9 x 2 inches. Top with 4 noodles. Spread one half of the cheese mixture (about 1 c) over noodles. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with mozzarella and the remaining 1/4 c Parmesan.
6. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 15 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Betty Crocker says this is a great recipe to make ahead: Cover the unbaked lasagna with aluminum foil and refrigerate no longer than 24 hours or freeze no longer than 2 months. Bake covered 45 minutes; uncover and bake refrigerated lasagna 15 to 20 minutes longer or frozen lasagna 34 to 45 minutes longer until hot and bubbly.

2 thoughts on “For what it’s worth…

  1. Oh that looks awesome! One way to extend ground beef is with grated, squeezed zucchini pulp. Or rice, particularly if it’s been through the food processor. Or bulgar! Yay for bulgar!

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