Welcome to the last Friday in July – National Talk in an Elevator Day, Systems Administrator Appreciation Day and Gnarly Day. One quick way to get all these Last Friday Days out of the way would be to have a gnarly conversation in an elevator with a systems administrator. Yeah, I’m not doing that.
So, let’s talk Lasagna Day. I have but one question – why would they pick a date so deep in July to offer up a dish that tends to be heavy. In July most of us are craving just two things – salads for supper and ice creams for dessert. But here we are, celebrating Lasagna Day.
Did you know that Lasagna is one of the oldest forms of pastas in the world? The oldest text about lasagna can be found in a poem written in 1282, Memoriali Bolognesi. Leave it to the Italians, with their passion for food, to give us a poem about Bolognaise. And I’d be willing to bet the farm that a Bolognaise Lasagna is amazing. Those layers of pasta, pillows of cheese and the creamy complexities of a Bolognaise Sauce. Oh yeah, just thinking about it makes me hungry.
Just one tiny little problem – a Bolognaise Sauce generally contains things like ground veal and pancetta. Neither of which would be in keeping with a Fabulous Friday Supper for this Catholic household. Doesn’t mean we can’t have celebrate Lasagna Day. . .
Easy Meatless Three-Cheese Lasagna
2 tablespoons fresh Parsley
1 tablespoon fresh Oregano Leaves
2 cups Ricotta Cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
2 (28 oz) jars Tomato Pasta Sauce
12 uncooked Lasagna Noodles
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
More Mozzarella Cheese, if desired
Heat oven to 350-degrees.
Snip the parsley and oregano leaves. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, blend ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and freshly snipped herbs. Set aside.
Spread 2 cups of the pasta sauce in ungreased rectangular pan, 13-inch by 9-inch by 2 inch deep lasagna pan. Top sauce with 4 uncooked noodles. Spread entire ricotta cheese mixture over noodles. Spread another 2 cups pasta sauce topped with 4 more noodles. Repeat with another 2 cups pasta sauce and remaining 4 noodles. Sprinkle with 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Spread remaining pasta sauce over the mozzarella layer. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 30 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with additional Mozzarella Cheese if desired. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
Add a simple salad, warm bread and perhaps a glass of wine for a beautiful Friday Night supper.