This recipe started out as a good idea, but it didn’t work in practice.
See, I had this idea for a dish called lasagna roll-ups, which was pretty much just like it sounds. But when it came time to assemble it, it just didn’t work.
Like Garfield, lasagna is one of my favorite foods. I tend to make lasagna a lot, but I try to keep it fresh by putting different ingredients in it each time. “Quattro formaggi” is simply Italian for four cheeses. In this case, cottage cheese, cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan.
I wouldn’t say lasagna is a quick meal to make because there are a lot of different components. But it is quick to assemble because you can make everything ahead of time at your leisure and just throw it together at the last minute. It’s also convenient because once you assemble it, it can sit in your refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to eat.
It is quite inexpensive as well. Most pasta dishes usually are. The only ingredient that is not completely rock-bottom cheap would be the fat free cottage cheese, and even that was only about $3 for the 1 lb container.
Lasagne Quattro Formaggi
1/2 box dried lasagna noodles
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil, separated
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 white onion, medium dice
1/2 green pepper, medium dice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 oz can tomato sauce
2 TBS Italian seasoning
2 tsp sugar
8 oz fat free cottage cheese (or ricotta)
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
Fresh cracked black pepper
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1. Boil noodles according to package instructions, usually about 10 minutes. Strain and cool under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
2. Put cast iron pan on fire. When hot add EVOO. When the pan is smoking, add the turkey and cook until browned. Remove from heat and set aside
3. Put sauce pan on fire. When hot, add EVOO. When smoking add onion and green pepper. Cook until onion translucent, about five minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute, then add tomato sauce, browned ground turkey, Italian seasoning and sugar. Stir together, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook about five minutes.
4. Combine fat free cottage cheese and egg in mixing bowl. Squeeze excess liquid from spinach then add to bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
5. To assemble, spoon a little tomato sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish, then lay strips of lasagna noodles until the entire bottom is covered. Add a layer of the cottage cheese/spinach mixture, then another layer of the sauce. Repeat: lasagna noodles-cottage cheese/spinach-sauce. Repeat again. Top with another layer of noodles, a little more sauce than sprinkle the top with the shredded cheddar and mozzarella. Finally, sprinkle the parmesan over the top and cover with foil. The lasagna can be stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat or cooked right away.
6. Preheat oven to 375F. Cook lasagna for 35 minutes covered, then remove cover and cook another 10 minutes so the top gets browned up. Remove from oven and let stand a few minutes before cutting into it.
Have you ever had a great idea for a dish that just didn’t work out? Share your story in the comments section below. And thanks for looking at my blog!