Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Cheesy Beefy Lasagna
I have to confess I am not always a patient cook. Specially on busy weekdays, with meetings to attend, deadlines to meet and kids to teach (and feed), I would prefer dishes that are easy to prepare. If you go over the recipes here, you will notice that most, if not all, are easy to prepare, easy to cook, with ingredients that are readily available.
So, when Daughter asks for a Lasagna, I was hesitant. Why? Because I know Lasagna takes a long time to prepare. With other noodle dishes, you boil the noodles, make the sauce and just dump everything together for a satisfying meal. With lasagna, you have to prepare two sauces - the tomato based and the Bechamel sauce, then you boil the pasta, carefully layer everything before baking again! Hmmm... to make or not to make...
I was very happy when I discovered this!
Instant lasagna sheets! No precooking required. No more boiling of the pasta! One less step to prepare. So, I agreed to make lasagna only if Daughter would help me with the layering.
1 pack instant lasagna sheets
300 gms lean ground beef, marinated in
2 T soy sauce
a dash or two of pepper
2 T cornstarch
4 T olive oil
4 T minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
100 gms pitted black olives, sliced
5 large tomatoes, chopped
1 L tomato sauce
1 C all-purpose cream
4 T sugar, optional (we prefer our sauce with a hint of sweetness)
a dash or two of dried oregano powder
salt and pepper to taste
250 gms mozarella cheese, grated
250 gms quick-melt cheese, grated
1. Make the sauce: In a cooking pan, heat up the oil, saute the garlic and onions until fragrant but not burnt. Add in the tomatoes. Let cook for a while and mash some tomatoes until juices come out. Add in the marinated ground beef. Cook and mix until the beef changes color and is thoroughly cooked.
2. Add in the tomato sauce, cream, and the olives. Let boil. Add in the sugar, salt, pepper and dried oregano powder. Adjust to taste. Let boil and turn off heat.
3. Ladle some sauce and cover the bottom of a lasagna baking pan with some sauce. Put a sheet of lasagna over the sauce. Cover the sheet with some more sauce, then top with some grated mozarella and some quick melt cheese. Continue layering until all the sheets are used up. Top with more tomato sauce and more cheese.
4. Bake in a preheated oven 375F for 35 to 45 minutes. Slice and serve warm.
Easy cheesy beefy lasagna. I skipped the boiling of the pasta. I also skipped the Bechamel sauce by adding the cream into the tomato sauce. And the resulting dish is still creamy, flavorful cheesy! Even tastes better than the store-bought lasagna! If lasagna are easy to prepare like this, the kids can have their fill of this dish even on a busy week night!
Best part of all, all the cooking and layering served as a fun bonding activity with Daughter! :)
Submitting this dish to Presto Pasta Nights, featuring easy pasta and noodles recipes around the world. This week's host is Abby of Eat the Right Stuff. To see last week's fabulous array of pasta dishes, please check out Ruth's Once Upon a Feast.