Mama Cooking: Lasagna Toss

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I'm the kind of cook that needs a recipe for every meal. I love finding new ones to try, especially when watching hours of Food Network and scouring through their magazine. But I've been saying for years that I would love to just cook with freedom. Adding a little here, a little there, and mixing spices like I had attended Le Cordon Bleu. But the fact of the matter is, I don't know which spice pairs with another and which will overshadow a different one.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've become a little more brave when it comes to cooking and modifying recipes I've either seen or read about, and making them my own. It started with this lasagna toss. I call it that because you just toss all the ingredients together and it comes straight out of the pot and onto a plate. No layering or baking needed. Want to know more? Then keep reading.

I have all the ingredients I need here:

With the Italian sausage, I've kind of cheated in the seasoning department because all of the seasoning I need is in there! Love when I can take the guess work out of it! I also have pasta noodles, olive oil for the pan, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, two different cheeses, and some garlic.

I added a little olive oil to a pan to heat up and then minced the garlic. I added the garlic to the oil and let them start to soften. From there, I added the sausage. Remove it from its casing! And while you're doing all of that, bring a large pot of water to a boil. 

If you don't have this amazing tool, you need it! It's the Mix and Chop and it does all the work for you when chopping your meat while browning it! Simply twist and chop the meat to your desired groundness and let it continue to cook. I love it and use it constantly. You can get it here, and if you need a Pampered Chef consultant, I recommend Laurie Milbrodt. She's great! (And she doesn't know I gave her the shout out....)

After the sausage was cooked, I drained off any excess fat. From there I added a 15 oz can of tomato sauce and 15 oz can of diced tomatoes.

I've also added my pasta to the salted boiling water. I used Rigattoni noodles, but you can use anything have on hand.

Okay, back to the meat sauce. I added half of a 15 oz container of Ricotta cheese and about half a bag of shredded mozzarella. You can take the time to shred your own, but who honestly has the time? Stir until combined and melted. 

By now your pasta should be ready. I don't take the time to drain my pasta. If Giada doesn't, then I don't need to either! I use my trusty pasta strainer and add ladles of pasta at a time to the meat sauce. Toss until completely coated.

And then it's time to put it on a plate! I added shredded Parmesan cheese to the top. You can also add fresh basil, but I didn't have any. Mine had all dried up in the planter.... I guess you do need to tend to it from time to time. I also served it with hunks of French bread on the side. 

And there you have it! Lasagna Toss! It was so easy and it was all my own. And I loved playing around with ingredients and just making a dish with them. And it got thumbs up from my husband so I would say it was a success!


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