Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tonight I'm posting something unlike anything I've posted in the last 10 months. You see, as most of you know I have been a vegetarian for almost a year, meaning the recipes containing meat on Espresso and Cream have all but disappeared. What hasn't changed during this time is Joey's love for beef, chicken, pork and the like.
Most of the time when we're together, we find some sort of compromise. When we eat out, the places we frequent are those with options that are both friendly to my diet and appealing to him. Ethnic restaurants are great for that very reason. And when I cook for us, meat is usually a side-dish to whatever meal we are having. A few grilled chicken breasts here, some meat sauce there, a veggie burger for me - a real burger for him.
Fact: During our marriage counseling, when asked what type of food we would be eating as a married couple Joey responded (on his own prompting) "flexitarian." I was so proud.
So even though I may not be eating meat, it is most certainly being consumed by the man I love. That said, I thought that for my upcoming trip I'd fix him something special to keep in the freezer on the nights I'm not around. So, my friends, I give you Freezer Lasagna for Two (aka: Lasagna for Bachelors, Fiancées, and Helpless Husbands).
Freezer Lasagna for Two
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*2 shallots, chopped
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*1 lb. ground pork or beef
*1 tsp. Italian seasoning
*Salt and ground black pepper
*6 no-boil lasagna noodles
*1 (15-oz.) container whole milk ricotta cheese
*1 large egg, lightly beaten
*1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
*1 1/2 to 2 cups marinara sauce
*2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
*Chopped fresh tomatoes (optional)
*In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add in the shallots and garlic. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in ground pork or beef and cook until browned, stirring frequently and breaking into small pieces. Remove from heat and stir in the Italian seasoning. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
*Lightly grease three miniature disposable loaf pans. Place 1 no-boil lasagna noodle in the bottom of each pan.
*In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese and egg until well combined. Spread some of the ricotta mixture atop each of the noodles in a thin even layer, followed by some of the zucchini, marinara sauce, pork mixture and cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients one more time.
*At this point, you can either cover the lasagnas with aluminum foil and freeze until ready to use. Or, preheat the oven to 375°F and bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and lasagna noodles are soft. Top with fresh tomatoes, if desired.
*If you do decide to freeze the lasagnas, thaw them in the refrigerator before use and cook as instructed above.