There is something just so wonderful about lasagna, if there was a list of the perfect foods of the world, lasagna would be on it! Pasta, Marinara and cheese,more pasta, more cheese…… oh yes the power of cheese, and lots of it! While its not a difficult meal to make, it’s one that I rarely make and I’m not sure why.
Last week I received a shipment of Greek Yogurt from Chobani ( I will be featured on their blog next week) and I challenged myself to find some less than conventional ways to use it. So I added it to my lasagna!
You’ll have to wait until next week to see what I made for Chobani!
I don’t know how many of you use them, but I have loved pasta sheets since the day they came out on the market, and not only does my local Wegman’s have pasta sheets, they have fresh pasta sheets! Now if your a traditionalist and still use the old fashioned noodles, I will give you an institutional trick for using them, and no I didn’t learn it while I was Institutionalized….sigh. But I did learn it from a Nutritionist who had run the University of Pennsylvania Hospital food service, Thank you Mrs. Juni, you taught me so much!
What Mrs. Juni showed me was that you didn’t have to cook your pasta noodles, all you had to do was put a layer of sauce below the noodles and above the noodles, let the Lasagna sit for about 8 hours before cooking (ovenite is best) and you would never know you didn’t spend all that time cooking noodles fighting with them to keep them whole! That being said, again I am grateful for pasta sheets!!
I added a little twist to my lasagna, after my first layer of noodles I added some eggplant cutlets, that were breaded and pan fried, topped with marinara and mozzarella. So in essence I started with Eggplant parm!
Then I did my regular layer of ricotta, a layer of noodles, and ricotta again. Now here is where I added a little more to it. I added a layer of broccoli rabe and a Greek yogurt white sauce. Finished with a layer of noodles, marinara and cheese, glorious cheese!
I do have to say it was one of the best lasagne’s I have ever made!! I hope you like it!
Chef Dennis’ Lasagna
(this will make a 13 x 9 inch baking pan of lasagna)
12 pasta sheets or a box and a half of dry noodles
32 oz ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Large eggplant sliced into 1/4 inch cutlets, breaded, pan fried and drained
2 bunches broccoli rabe cooked, drained and seasoned
1 qt marinara sauce
16 oz shredded mozzarella
12 oz Chobani Plain Low fat yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
Let’s start by getting our cheese mixture together, this is of course assuming you have your marinara ready.
Mix your ricotta, grated Romano cheese, eggs, sugar and pepper together and place in the refrigerator until needed.
Now prepare your yogurt sauce. Mix the yogurt with 1/4 cup of Romano cheese and 1/4 cup of milk , blend well, if it looks too thick add a little more milk.
prep your eggplant cutlets, peel them down, and start with a coating of flour, then an egg wash, and then seasoned bread crumbs. Pan fry the cutlets in olive oil till golden brown and drain on paper towels.
Begin by adding some sauce to the bottom of the baking dish, then a layer of noodles.
Add your breaded eggplant, a layer of sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese and a layer of noodles.
Add a little sauce on top of the noodles then use half of your ricotta cheese mixture, a little more sauce and another layer of noodles.
now add the remaining ricotta cheese mixture, top with your broccoli rabe and finish with the chobani yogurt sauce.
Top with one more layer of noodles, marinara sauce and finish with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Make sure you allow the Lasagna to sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing it.
The way we would bake this in the restaurant would be to cover it with cling wrap, then aluminum foil. I know it sounds crazy but the film wrap does not melt, and does not allow the foil to stick to the cheese or sauce and get all funky. You can remove the film and foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.
I hope you enjoy this lasagna as much as we did!
Ask Chef Dennis
This week I would like to share with you a web site that Toni from Boulder Locavore was kind enough to share with me and that helped me transform my blog. In case you hadn’t noticed MTAMF looks a little cleaner and its definitely wider. That’s right you can widen your blog so very easily, of course this tip is for blogger, I’m not sure how you would do it in any other format. The website is The Original Blogger Tips and Tricks. Follow that link to find the instructions to widen your blog. Now the only issue you may have is if you widen it to the full width of the page, some folks who use mobile devices may have trouble with the width and have to use a scroll bar, which would be a real pain on a mobile device. I widened my blog to 1100 pixels, see if that works for you.
There are a lot of other cool tips and tricks on that website so have fun and experiment, maybe you don’t need that web designer after all!!
The other tip I have for you, I figured out all by myself!! When I was working on my blog I found that a lot of the widgets I had in the side bar were doing there own thing to one side or the other and looked a bit funky. So I opened one up and saw that they were either centered, left or right aligned. Yes it is just that easy, change the alignment to what you want, so there all the same!! I even put two on the same line, aligning one left and one right ( I did that with my top two Foodbuzz widgets)
Just remember do not change anything except the one word, leave the ” ” and = in place only replace the right, left or centered.
The other tip I figured out is you can change the size of the widget by changing the width and height numbers, again change only the number i.e, 225, leave all the other symbols in place!
So have fun and make your blog prettier!!Please remember to back up your blog before you start having fun with it, in case something goes wrong!!! (thanks Kita!)
And again, I make an impassioned plea!!! Please lose the word verification, your spam detector in blogger really will stop 99% of the spam!! Help me, Help you (remember Jerry McGuire?)
It was a quiet week for Foodbuzz questions, the only one I really had was in reference to last weeks post about switching out your posts on your profile…the question was why do it? Well thats a good question, you really don’t have to, but if your kind of anal like me, and like order and like to see your last posts and their buzz, you do it. If its not important to you, you don’t. What it does do is give anyone who comes to your Foodbuzz page easy access to your last posts, when I go to someones page that has these, I buzz them all. If there not there , you can always click on the person’s activity to see their posts in order.
One thing I did notice was that sometimes people are posting two of the same blog post, or a blog post and a recipe. It’s ok if you do that, but it will split your buzz score. If your trying for a higher buzz this will hurt your score!
on another note I would like to say the plans for the North Carolina Blogger Festival are going well, Location and date are still to be determined, but it looks like sometime in July, more than likely a Friday night and Saturday. I would like any input you may have on the event, and as soon as I find out more I will let you know.
The blogger get together in Philly is moving a little slower, I haven’t had anyone respond about that get together, but I will keep you posted!
Well my friends, its past my bed time, 4 am comes very early. So thank you for stopping by, stay warm, stay full, and yes spring is on its way!!! And by all means, if you have anything to help our community send it along to me and I will share it with a link to your blog.
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