Cooking for two can be really hard because most recipes serve at least four to six people. Call me lazy, but sometimes I don't want to have to split the recipe and figure out all the new measurements for ingredients! Other times, I don't want a full pan of that specific dish that I know we aren't going to finish. Don't get me wrong, leftovers are the best. That's what Jordan takes to school everyday for lunch, but some meals don't hold up like others do.
I discovered this lasagna a few months ago and I literally make it every two weeks, if not every week! Jordan and I think it is the best lasagna we have ever had (aside from the one I had in Italy of course). You cook the lasagna in a loaf pan and it makes the perfect amount for two people, and a little bit leftover. I've actually thought about doubling this recipe for when we have friends over, it is that good. Enjoy!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 ounces meatloaf mix (4 oz each of ground beef & ground pork) or 8 ounces of whichever meat you prefer
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
Filling and Noodles
4 ounces (½ cup) ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons extra
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Pepper to taste
4 no-boil oven-ready wide flat lasagna noodles (Barilla brand)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat and add onion with a pinch of salt. Sweat for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and chili flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in meatloaf mix. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until no longer pink. Stir in cream, diced tomatoes with their juice, and tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Don't season too much or overall lasagna will be too salty.
In a small bowl, combine ricotta, ½ cup Parmesan, and egg together. Sprinkle in a little pepper and mix. To assemble the lasagna, spread ½ cup of meat sauce over bottom of a loaf pan. Spread ⅓ of the ricotta mixture on top of 1 noodle, and lay on top of sauce. Sprinkle on ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese, and a little more sauce. Repeat this layering 2 more times, making sure you end up with enough meat sauce and mozzarella cheese for the top layer. When you lay the last noodle down, you will have no more ricotta mixture left. Place the remaining sauce on top of the dry noodle. Mix together the remaining ¼ cup of mozzarella with 2 tablespoons (or more) of grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top of the sauce.
Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked and the sauce is bubbly around the edges. Remove the foil, top with parsley, and bake until the cheese is lightly brown in spots, for an additional 10 minutes or so. Let cool for 5-10 minutes out of the oven to let it set a little more before cutting into it. Bon appetit!
- For this recipe, I use the Barilla brand oven ready noodles because they're thin and fit perfectly in a loaf pan. Other brands tend to be thicker and some don't fit in the pan.
- If you grate your mozzarella cheese from a block yourself, the results will be more gooey and stringy, rather than when you use pre-shredded cheese.