I’m not sure exactly why, but one day I had it in my head that I wanted to try making lasagna from scratch…as in, the flat pasta sheets. I think part of it is how easy it is to use the new pasta making attachments I have and since the pasta sheets turn out so smooth from it, I thought it might be quite doable. I did technically skip making the sauce from scratch this time, but you could totally use homemade sauce, too. I just wanted to limit my variables slightly to see how it would go.
Sometimes I wing recipes. This one involved a heavy amount of winging. I did look at a few lasagna recipes first, but too often they are overly complicated. I wanted something to use up some lasagna noodles I had from a different meal. I decided to make a modest lasagna in an 8×8 dish, which is another lasagna issue. Lasagna doesn’t need to be some huge casserole with tons of fancy toppings. This is a simple cheese lasagna, and you can pair it with other dishes if you like. I served this with some meatballs I made.
Don’t you love finding recipes where you don’t need to buy any ingredients? I found a recipe in my Jacques Pepin cookbook “Fast Food My Way” where you can use wonton wrappers instead of pasta. It sounded interesting, but once I realized I had almost enough ricotta already and had all of the other items, I could not bring myself to buy them. I decided to make my own version from items I already had in my kitchen. So, you could use wonton wrappers (no pre-cooking needed), jumbo shells, cannelloni tubes, or lasagna noodles like I did. For the pasta, you will need to boil them first so that you can roll them and/or fill them.
I would consider this a dish you could make on a weeknight, especially if you use wontons like he suggested. It is not super speedy, but it comes together pretty quickly and during the 15 minutes of baking you could easily get the rest of the meal ready (vegetables, garlic bread, etc.).
We were visiting our families in Maryland when I discovered this recipe. I needed to go grocery shopping anyway when we came back, but I liked that this wasn’t the kind of recipe you needed a long list for. Many of the ingredients might be on hand anyway…and it’s also a fairly fast dish, especially for lasagna!