Business As Usual

Nothing terribly exciting to report....We had a really nice quiet weekend (2 weekends ago...I'm way behind!) and got caught up on all kinds of miscellaneous errands and projects. We had a few CBS events, which was great to see everyone and We tried a bunch of new delicious recipes (see below) since I won't be cooking for a few weeks as I'm on a business trip for 3 weeks.
 I love lasagna as does Tyler; however, I am always intimidated by the amount of time it takes to actually assemble and bake. I was compiling my grocery list for the week when I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a whirl. Typically, I try and do a nicer or more labor intensive meal on Sundays as I have more time than the work weeks. This surprisingly was really easy and so, so, so good! The best part about this meal is that it's easy to serve and save the leftovers as the lasagna doesn't fall apart. I make a couple of tweaks to the recipe:

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
3/4  lb lean ground beef
1 small, finely chopped yellow onion
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 can 8 oz tomato paste (This helped to thicken the sauce)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 (15 oz) container Ricotta Cheese (I used reduced fat)
1 large egg
1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley (aka Italian Parsley, its about 1 small handful), chopped
2 1/4 cups freshly grated Mozzarella Cheese, divided
3/4 cup freshly, finely grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/3 cup freshly, finely grated Romano Cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
12 uncooked lasagna noodles

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Drizzle one tablespoon olive oil into a large non-stick fry pan.   
  2. Cook lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water along with 1 tsp salt and 2 tablespoon olive oil to al dente according to directions listed on package.  Once noodles are cooked, drain and immediately and line noodles in a single layer on waxed paper or cookie sheets. (I did this while I cooked the meat.)   
  3. Heat over medium high heat, crumble ground beef over oil, add chopped onions and cook mixture stirring occasionally and breaking up meat, until browned.  Drain fat from beef.   
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, basil, oregano and 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir.  Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste then cover with a lid and simmer over low heat while preparing pasta and cheese mixture.
  5. Prepare cheese mixture by stirring together Ricotta cheese, egg, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper with a fork in a large mixing bowl until well combine.  Stir in chopped fresh parsley.  Add in 1 3/4 cups grated Mozzarella Cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese and 1/3 cup Romano Cheese, stir mixture until well combine. 
  6. Stir meat sauce and spread 1/3 cup evenly into a 13x9 inch baking dish by tilting pan back and forth.  Spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly onto each cooked lasagna noodle, then spread 1 heaping tablespoon meat sauce along the top of cheese covered noodle.  Roll noodles up jellyroll style and arrange seam side down in baking dish.   
  7. Cover rolled noodles with remaining meat sauce (about a heaping 1/8 cup over each) then sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese evenly over roll ups.  Tent lasagna roll ups with foil (don't allow foil to rest on cheese or it will stick you just want to loosely tent to prevent the cheese from browning) and bake for 35 minutes in preheated oven.  Serve warm garnished with additional chopped fresh parsley. 

 Lemon Roasted Chicken
This recipe was courtesy of Pinoeer Woman and so good. I don't think I'll ever buy another roasted chicken from the grocery store. This was super easy to prepare and made our apartment smell wonderful!

The last recipe I'll share with you is Spinach Artichoke Pasta with Chicken. This dish tastes just like spinach artichoke dip and was delicious. I used leftover chicken from the night before (the lemon roasted chicken above) and served it with salad. Really easy for a week night dinner!

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