I’m blessed with a bit of kitchen intuition. Recipes aren’t really used here so much. Though I adore cookbooks, they are used more like idea tools or books I read because books!
Our budget is as slim as it’s been in quite some time, because I’m not delivered a lovely paper money envelope from an employer monthly. And it’s time to go shopping, so we have a strange assortment of foodstuffs, mostly canned, dry and frozen.
Tonight is chicken sausage lasagna, and yeah, I made it up.
Here are the ingredients I used because they were available:
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 pound chicken Italian sausage, casings removed
- 26 ounces strained tomatoes
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- frozen spinach, a couple handfuls
- 6-8 ounces mozzarella
- 12 lasagna noodles (mine were brown rice noodles that didn’t require boiling, but I boiled anyway to shorten the oven time)
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Start the noodles. Bring a pot of salty water to boil. Add lasagna noodles to rolling boil and cook until just bendable. Remove from pot into a bowl with about a tablespoon of butter and coat the noodles with the butter.
Step 3: Start the meat sauce.
Melt 3 tablespoons of good butter in a skillet. Add two or so pinches of black pepper, about a teaspoon of salt, and about a teaspoon of oregano. Heat the butter and seasonings.
Chop and add the onion and garlic. Cook over medium high heat until the onion is mostly translucent. Add the chicken italian sausage, crumbling with a metal spatula or wooden utensil. Cook until no pink remains.
Add strained tomatoes and bring to a happy simmer. Taste the sauce, adding salt or other seasoning as desired. Stir in the sour cream until well incorporated. Add the spinach and bring back to a simmer. Cook two minutes and remove from heat.
Step 4: Build the lasagna.
Coat a 9 x 13 pan with butter along the bottom and sides. Place one layer of noodles on the bottom of the pan. Cover with about 1/3 of the meat sauce. Grate about 1/3 of the mozzarella over the meat sauce. Layer two more times.
Step 5: Cook.
Place the uncovered pan in the preheated oven and cook for about 35-45 minutes. Visually, the lasagna should be bubbling along the edges and the cheese should be melted. When this happens, test the noodles by cutting with a spatula – if the noodles cut easily after 35 minutes, then you’re done.
Remove from oven and let stand five minutes. Serve and devour!
This is, by a long stretch, not the strangest combination of foods I’ve ever tried to shoehorn into dinner. It was tasty and relatively easy, though it used rather more dishes than I enjoy washing. Let me know if you try it or if you change it!