What exactly classifies something as a “comfort food”? Wikipedia: comfort food can be defined as food that brings some form or measure of comfort, sense of well-being, or easy satisfaction.
If Lasagna = easy satisfaction then Lasagna = comfort food
I always thought of lasagna as somewhat of a complex recipe. There are multiple ingredients involved, several cooking steps, and even layering. But, when you actually try your hand at making it, you realize that it’s quite simple, nearly impossible to mess up, and incredibly satisfying to have a warm, cheesy, flavorful, filling meal that can last up to a week.
I made two of these lasagnas… one for Mark and me and one for our sister and brother in law… Sara and Andrew. The entire process took no more than an hour (and a half… including cook time). I even learned about a few shortcuts that will most definitely be used for next time.
What you Need (for approx. a 9 x 13 inch lasagna):
1 pound ground wild game
2 cans diced tomatoes
2-4 cloves garlic – chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you like a little kick… less if you don’t)
Dash of cinnamon
1 15 oz package of ricotta cheese
4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1 large egg slightly beaten
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil… if you have it, or cupboard spices – whatever you have and think would be good: Parsley, Basil, Oregano. When using dried spices, use about a 1/2 teaspoon or so
Note – Feel free to use reduced or low fat cheeses…..
1 package of whole wheat lasagna noodles OR no boil lasagna noodles
Note: I used regular whole wheat noodles, but I read that no boil are just as good and save you the step of boiling the noodles before layering them into the lasagna
2 cups of fresh spinach
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
- Brown meat and drain any excess grease
- Add diced tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings to meat
- Let sauce simmer for 10 to 15 minutes
- While sauce is cooking, combine cheeses, spices, and egg in a large bowl – mix evenly
- Cook pasta according to the directions on the box OR use no boil lasagna and skip this step
- Saute mushrooms until slightly browned
- Add 1/4 of sauce to bottom of baking dish and spread evenly
- Place three of the noodles on top of the sauce
- Drop spoonfuls of cheese mixture on to noodles and spread evenly
- Place a third of the spinach and a third of the mushrooms on top of mixture
- Add another 1/4 of the sauce to mixture
- Repeat this process two more times
- Make sure that final layer is topped with cheese
- Optional – add sliced fresh tomatoes and garlic to very top
- Cover with tin foil and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes
- Remove foil and let bake another 25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving
Mmmm… easy satisfaction. Now enjoy this comforting meal for dinner tonight, lunch tomorrow, and until it’s gone.