Monday, September 12, 2011

Beef and Mushroom Lasagna

         There was one dish that my Nana would always make whenever we would drive the ten hours to visit her and my grandfather in Weed, CA; and that was lasagna. It was her signature dish. I remember it would take so long to make, and no one was allowed in the kitchen while she was cooking... it was agony. Of course I just wanted to go into the kitchen since I wasn't allowed... I was just one small little person right?
     I remember loving lasagna back then. I've come to realize that I think I loved the idea of my Nana spending so much time putting her love into that lasagna for us much more than I actually loved the lasagna. I've had many different types of lasagna, and I've made it myself many times, and I never feel overjoyed after eating it. Ever.
     I'll be honest, I actually do like some lasagna... you know, the frozen kind? Embarrassing right? Oh well, I admit it. So, that leads me to tonight's recipe... Corned Beef and Cabbage... Just kidding, Lasagna. While I didn't think it was the best thing ever, I do think that it was pretty good for what it was... a quick lasagna that didn't take a lot of prep, using fast ingredients. But, I do think that with a couple changes, I could make it into something that I'd love. I will probably make my own Bechemel sauce next time instead of using the Cream of Mushroom, and I'd add sauteed mushrooms. I would also probably spring for a jar of sauce that was a richer in taste, and probably use more than just one jar (for leftovers, it wasn't sauce-y enough for me).
     While I didn't think it was the best, Grant thought it was really good, and went back for seconds. He didn't mind the Cream of Mushroom taste. So I guess that's a good sign. (Although, once I made a super fancy lasagna, using wine and everything, and he hated it... he doesn't really care for super fancy foods. He tends to like simple comfort foods, like the time I made him Beef Stroganoff... again, that's for another time)

1 can of Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 C Milk
1- 1 /12 lb Ground beef
1 jar Spaghetti sauce (I used Marinara, I might use something different next time)
1 box of Barilla No Boil Lasagna noodles
8 oz Mozzarella, shredded
Italian seasonings
Garlic Powder or fresh garlic
dash of salt
dash of crushed red pepper for a little spicy kick if ya like

If using regular lasagna noodles, prepare those. Otherwise, get started:

In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain any fat and add your seasonings: Garlic powder, salt, red pepper, and Italian Seasonings.

In a medium bowl, mix together the Cream of Mushroom Soup and 1/2 C milk.

When finished, add the jar of spaghetti sauce, saving just a little to lightly cover the bottom of your 9x13 baking pan.

In your baking pan (that has a little bit of sauce on the bottom), overlap 4 of the No Boil Noodles (or 3 regular noodles). Spread half of the ground beef mixture on top of the noodles. Lay another layer of the noodles on top.

Spread half of the Cream of Mushroom soup over the noodles, and top with half of the cheese and another layer of noodles.

Repeat the last two steps one more time.

Place in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes. The outside of the noodles won't look completely finished, but the inside will be done. (In an effort to avoid this, next time I would soak the No Boil noodles in some water for 5 minutes or so, shedding the cooking time).

So while I would make a few changes, this wasn't too bad. Especially if you're looking for something quick and easy. I think this could be just a launching pad for all different types of fast and easy lasagnas. It was great because once the lasagna was in the oven and I turned around to clean things up, I noticed I didn't have a load of crap to clean... and that was the best part of this dish!

Recipe Courtesy of: Kitchen Daily


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