Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Quick Four Cheese Lasagna

I've been playing around with egg roll wrappers for months and lovin' it. I've rolled them, baked them, sauced them, left them plain and have had such a good time discovering their versitility. I wanted to try a simple lasagna using them and I must say, "simple is the word to describe this lasagna". There's no boiling of noodles and you could actually make this on a weeknight if you do some prep the night before or on a lazy Sunday. That's what I did. I got most of my prep work done ahead of time, came home from work and assembled this light, yet complex tasting entree.  Here's the recipe. As with all lasagnas there are many components.

Four Cheese Egg Roll Lasagna
Serves between 8 and 12, depending who you're serving

For the meat sauce:
3/4 pound ground sirloin or the leanest meat you can find in your market
2 sweet Italian sausages removed from casings
1 T olive oil
1 small onion
1 large jar Paul Newman tomato basil sauce
1 8 oz jar tomato sauce

For the cheese layer:
1 15 oz container part skim Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 box of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
Salt and black pepper
1 large egg

Other ingredients:
8 egg roll wrappers
8 slices low fat Provolone cheese (I used Alpine Lace)
Fresh basil
Additional parmesan for topping
Additional mozzarella for topping

Ready to cook? Let's do it with the help of some pictures. In large sauce pan saute sirloin, sausage and onion with the olive oil.  I cook on medium to low heat. Drain fat.

As you can see, there's no pink left in the meat so it's time to add your Paul Newman's sauce and plain tomato sauce. I also added a bit of water, about 4 ounces.

If you're prepping ahead of time and making this the following day, let cool and refrigerate covered. If you're making this in one session, set aside and get ready to prepare the cheese mixture. I don't have a picture for this, but it's a quick mix of all the cheese ingredients. When all is combined, you're ready to assemble the lasagna.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. In 9x13 inch baking dish (I still use my pyrex from the 80's) spray a little PAM or olive oil on the bottom of the dish. The egg roll wrappers become a little stickier than actual lasagna noodles and you don't want them to stick. Now add about a 1/3 cup of meat sauce to the bottom of the dish. Lay two egg roll wrapers over the sauce and spread on a thin layer of ricotta/spinach mixture. Top with 2 slices of provole cheese and sauce on top. Now add the fresh basil.

Continue to layer the lasagna until you've used all egg roll wrappers and cheese. You should have 3 layers of cheese/meat/basil and the top layer will be the last two egg roll wrappers. Top lasagna with remaining sauce.

Cover with aluminum foil and place on baking sheet (to avoid any spills) and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil, and top lasagna with additional cheese.

Bake an additional 15 minutes uncovered and remove from oven. Let cool  about 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

This is perfect with a crisp salad and crusty bread. Please check out my version of Ina Garten's chiabata garlic bread recipe, it's so tasty and simple. Since I made the lasagna a few days ago I can attest that the lasagna re-heats beautifully in the microwave or oven. Enjoy!

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