Wednesday, March 5, 2014

      Take a moment, breathe, now have a cocktail. Aahh...isn't that better? Of course it is! Told you so!! Time to see what's in the freezer...This IS a discovery - it's meatloaf mix (ground beef & ground pork packaged together). Just fab, this night will be "Stove Top Lasagna",  this night will be remarkable! I do believe this is probably one of my favorites...easy to make, easy to eat - let's get on with it.     This is what I have:
   1. 1lb ground beef & 1lb ground pork (a couple lbs of whatever type of ground meat you have will be fine and DERN TASTY)
   2. about 6 lasagna noodles (along with different kinds of soups, spices & sauce packets, I always have a variety of pasta noodles in the pantry for a quick 'go-to' meal in a pinch. Today I have reg lasagna noodles which I will have to boil separately but say, who says you can't layer with spag or ziti noodles - who cares? No boil noodles would save time and use less pots that must be cleaned but of course...ain't got none)!
   3. pasta sauce  (home made is usually better but I am using one of my favorite store bought jars that I have on hand)
   4. mozzarella & parm cheeses are really a must in this dish (nuts...I only have an 8oz bag of shredded mozz in the fridge which isn't really enough but I also have a 16oz plastic container of shredded parm & several little bits and pieces of asst. cheeses so I will use every kind of cheese I have in the house, it's all good)!!
   5. 1/2 of a med onion, diced (some diced green pepper would also be awesome)
   6. 2 minced garlic cloves (you can sprinkle some garlic powder over the meat if you don't have fresh cloves).
   7. I happen to have an 8oz package of sliced white mushrooms in the fridge so I will definitely use them up in here (don't have em', don't need em' BUT they do add a little something I love, canned or jarred shrooms work too)
   8. salt & pepper (if you like things a little spicy, sprinkle some red pepper flakes or a pinch or two of go hot stuff :)!
                    Geeze, that's a mouthful, got to refill...there - and begin!!
   Plop the meat into a large, high sided skillet, salt and pepper to taste (sprinkle a few good shakes of garlic powder here if that's what your using) & cook on med heat until browned. Meanwhile, boil the noodles 2 or 3 mins under package recommended directions & drain, set aside. When meat is done, spoon onto a paper towel to soak up excess grease but leave the rest of the grease in the pan. Keep heat on med and throw in  your onion & mushrooms. Cook about 4-5 mins to soften. If your using fresh, add the garlic here. Lower the heat to med-lo & cook 2-3 mins more. DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC!!!  Drain off the grease. Put the meat back into the pan with the veggies and stir it up a bit till well combined and meat warms up. Remove 1/2 the meat mixture. Spread the remaining meat mix evenly over the bottom of the pan. Pour enough pasta sc over the meat and spread around just enough to cover the meat. Lay about 3 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce (cut or rip it to fit, whatever it takes to cover)  Now sprinkle the mozz (use 1/2 the bag if you have 16oz.'s. I will only use 1/2 of my 8oz bag with extra parm on this layer). I also have 1/2 of a leftover 8oz container of ricotta I must use up before it starts growing so I'll just scrape a few little spoon fulls onto the noodles and get rid of it.You can really use as much cheese as ya like. Here comes a good handful of the parm. spread it out. Got some cheddar...why not??  Repeat layers.  Top it all off with the rest of your cheeses (if you happen to have a few herbs such as parsley or basil, rip up a few leaves & sprinkle on looks pretty) Cover the pan and simmer for about 15-20 mins until the cheese is all melted and everything is bubblin'.    Dear Lord...I am so thirsty :)
          Ooooh...Fantastical!!!  Voila'  "Stove Top Lasagna"!  Uncover. Let it sit for a few minutes before digging in. Serve with some garlic bread or not. MMMM...So DERN TASTY!!!

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