A Southern Grace: laze-agna

May 30, 2016



I used to think lasagna was a dish that required a lot of hands-on time and effort. As it turns out, if you do a little prep in advance, it's one of the easiest and quickest meals you can make!

By making a big batch of marinara-turned-meat sauce* ahead of time, I set myself up to put this beauty together in less than 5 minutes. It was on the table with a nice salad in well under an hour, and it tasted fantastic. I absolutely love what fresh basil adds to dishes like this--it might just be my favorite thing our garden has produced!

*I used a massive bag of cherry and pear tomatoes from the freezer saved from last summer...it's high time they came out and made room for something new! If you use tiny tomatoes for your marinara sauce, I highly recommend using an immersion blender to make sure all the skins and whatnot become as broken down as possible!

I don't think I've mentioned it, but we're definitely doing another garden project this year. We've planted FAR fewer tomatoes, some new types of pickle-friendly cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash (stay away, squash vine borers!), bell and jalapeno peppers, and lots of herbs (including basil, of course!). We also intend to try a new kind of bush bean, as well as lettuce and green onions. I think it's a nice blend of new and exciting selections and familiar, confidence-boosting items.

For my money, this, the corner piece with crusty cheese, is the best bite:

Lasagna is almost always good, but it somehow tastes better when there are so many components brought to fruition by your own two four hands (not to mention, whether we like it or not, four paws)!

Exhausted from a day of digging and barking and digging some more.

Lazy Lady's Lasagna
(printable recipe)
Serves 6-8
  • One batch homemade marinara sauce or 3 cups store bought
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 box oven ready lasagna noodles (such as Barilla)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, julienned
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
First, brown your turkey and drain off the fat, then season with salt, pepper, and rosemary, to taste.
Add the meat to the marinara sauce and mix well.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8-inch pan with non-stick spray.
Place a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan then cover it with two noodles.
Spread some cottage cheese onto the noodles, then spoon more sauce and fresh basil on top of that.
Repeat these layers until you run out of room or ingredients, but make sure you have sauce on top covering all of the noodles so they don't get hard in the oven.
Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top. Spray a piece of foil with non-stick spray and cover the pan with it, spray side down (so the cheese doesn't stick).
Bake 35-45 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the lasagna is bubbly. Let the lasagna set for about 10 minutes before digging in.


lisa is cooking said...

I want that corner piece! Sounds delicious, and your garden plans sound fantastic. For the first time ever, I'm having trouble with my basil plants this year thanks to a bug attack. Hoping the plants spring back.

Angie's Recipes said...

wow all the cheese goodness...my mouth is watering.

Pam said...

Yum. Simple food is my favorite. I have still never tried cottage cheese instead of ricotta. I need to do this because I LOVE cottage cheese.

Love the shot of your pooch...Too cute.

Carolyn Jung said...

The corner pieces are always the best -- in brownies, cakes, bar cookies -- you name it. The fact that there's only four of them, too, makes them even more coveted.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

LOVE that corner piece! Wondering why I never considered making this in an 8x8. I mean, I love the leftovers, but when you are only 2 people, a smaller pan is probably a lot smarter!

Katerina said...

I always have this problem with lasagna. Too much work! I like your easier more quick version!

Kate @ Framed Cooks said...

Oh my gosh, that picture is pure cheesy deliciousness. I want a center piece. And I want it NOW.

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi Grace, love that you added cottage cheese to this dish, looks amazing!

Velva said...

Grace, the lasagna looks delicious. Lasagna remains a very soulful and comforting meal. It is no doubt one of my favorite meals. You are right, lasagna when the sauce is already prepared homemade or a good quality store bought one, it can be put together in just a few minutes.

Exciting! You a re putting in your summer garden. your garden ingredients are very similar to one. The two bean varieties that I am growing are gold rush ( long thin yellow wax bean) and a variety called dragon bush ( a wider speckled green bean). Both are delicious and easy to grow.

Take care!

Pam said...

I never knew lasagna could be so easy. Yours looks delicous! And I agree, the corner piece, everyone wants it here.
Your fur buddy is adorable and I'm guessing he has the digging thing down pat!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Grace:)
I have a tendency to make lasagna day a big project. You make it sound so easy and it looks pretty darn delicious also. what an interesting method and ingredients. (I've never used cottage cheese, usually ricotta:) I must try it since I know that corner piece as been requested, lol....

As for those squash vine borers, have you tried putting crushed up egg shells around the base of the plant? You could use small rocks too. The idea is to make the terrain around the base of the plant rugged. The borer doesn't like to cross over it and get its belly scratched up. I've used this method on cukes too!!!

Good luck with your garden Grace and thanks for sharing...

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

Oven ready lasagna noodles??!! The only part I hate about making lasagna is pre-boiling the noodles. I tried the no-boil method once with regular noodles and they came out gummy (though at least edible). I will have to do a search for oven ready whole wheat. You've made my day Grace!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

And also, I sooo chuckled at the "fewer tomatoes" comment ;-)

Louise said...

I completely agree about the best bit being the slice with that yummy cheesey corner!

Barbara said...

Oh yeah...look at all that cheese! Love it! This looks delish, Grace....crispy on the corners and exactly what I wish I were having tonight! So hard to cook for one. :( But....I could cut and freeze.

Beth said...

5-minute lasagna? What a revelation!

Adina said...

Looks so comforting! And I never knew you could freeze tomatoes, never would have thought of it...