I’m Italian. I’m pretty sure it’s a requirement of my heritage to be able to make a good pan of lasagna.
Yet, somehow, it’s the one dish that I haven’t even attempted, let alone mastered.
A large pan of lasagna always seemed way too complicated to make for just my husband and I (while I do love leftovers, I also get bored with the same meal way too quickly), and I’ve been too intimidated to try making it for the first time to serve to guests. I mean, what would my grandmother say if I served bad lasagna to guests?!
So, I’ve completely avoided it. Up until now.
I recently had a craving for lasagna, but wondered if there’d be a more simplified way of preparing this comforting meal. Then, I had a “lightbulb moment.” Use a loaf pan! It’s the absolute perfect size to make lasagna for two people! While the ingredient list may be the same for an entire large pan full of hearty lasagna, it felt much more do-able when I only had to think about getting one package of mushrooms and a few ounces of mozzarella cheese. And the addition of Manchego Cheese and shallots takes this from a standard lasagna recipe to an elegant meal that is definitely worthy of guests. In fact, this is so simple to prepare that I’ve already made it twice in two weeks.
Mushroom Manchego Lasagna
Keywords: bake entree vegetarian cheese mushrooms pasta Italian
Ingredients (2 generous servings)
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 2 shallots, diced
- 10 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Oregano, to taste
- 8 oz. no boil lasagna noodles
- 13 oz. marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded manchego cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside. Mix together mozzarella and machego cheese and set aside.
2. In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots, mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10-12 minutes until mushrooms are softened. Stir in oregano and set aside.
3. Spread a thin layer of pasta sauce on bottom of loaf pan. Arrange two lasagna sheets to cover bottom layer (it’s okay to break sheets into pieces to help fit into pan). Top with a thin layer of pasta sauce, 1/2 of mushroom mixture, 1/3 of cheese mixture. Add another layer of pasta, topped with sauce, remaining 1/2 of mushroom mixture and 1/3 of cheese mixture.
4. Top with final layer of pasta, sauce and cheese. Sprinkle additional oregano, if desired. Cover loosely with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and make for about 15 additional minutes, until top of golden brown. Cool slightly, serve and enjoy!
And while I’ll always prefer a meal prepared from scratch, I also try to be realistic and know that there will be times when that’s just not possible. In those instances, I’m okay with still being able to nourish my body with food that’s good for me, but that someone else has prepared and I’m able to simply heat it up and enjoy.
That’s why I was happy to try the new burritos from PJ’s Organics. PJ’s Organics offers hand-rolled organic Mexican burritos, using local ingredients when possible, and always hand crafted.
I was sent their Denver Breakfast Burrito and Surf’s Up Breakfast Burrito to try.
To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I microwaved a packaged frozen meal. I didn’t have the highest expectations as I heard the microwave beep. I can honestly say I was very pleasantly surprised by the Denver Burrito! It had the perfect amount of spice to each bite, definitely filled me up, and was perfect with a touch of salsa!
~What is the quintessential meal of your cultural upbringing?