If you read my last post you’ll know that lately I’ve been having problems with my camera skills. I made Lasagna from America’s Test Kitchen Cooking for Two recipe magazine and I was so preoccupied that when I did manage to take a few pictures, they turned out horrendous because my camera was in all the wrong settings.
But I’m posting this anyways because I’ve had a few requests and because while eating this lasagna for dinner, my boyfriend said it was “the best lasagna I’ve ever had”. Now, he is biased, but I have to agree that this is a pretty solid recipe for lasagna that serves 2, which I’ve never seen before. The typical lasagna recipe can feed a whole dinner party of people which is way too much food for a couple, even including leftovers.
This is the first recipe I’ve made from my Cooking for Two recipe magazine that I mentioned a few posts ago. I’m happy to say this recipe is a keeper. I look forward to making more dinners for 2 from this little magazine.
This recipe is cut down to size to serve two and is baked in a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. The 2 servings are hearty, and for us it ended up being more like 2 dinner servings and 1 leftover serving for lunch the following day.
Lasagna for Two
From America’s Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2009
Note: If you cannot find meat loaf mix, substitute equal parts 80 percent lean ground beef and sweet Italian sausage, casings removed. Do not substitute fat-free ricotta.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- table salt
- 8 ounces meat loaf mix (see note)
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained, 1/4 cup juice reserved
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- ground black pepper
Filling, Noodles, and Cheese
- 4 ounces whole-milk or part-skim ricotta cheese (about 1/2 cup) (see note)
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup), plus 2 tablespoons
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 no-boil lasagna noodles (Our favorite is Barilla)
- 4 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.
For the sauce: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the meat loaf mix and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces, until it is no longer pink, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the cream, bring to a simmer, and cook until the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Stir in the drained tomatoes, reserved juice, and tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until the flavors are blended, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the filling, noodles, and cheese: Combine the ricotta, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, basil, egg, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan, avoiding large chunks of meat. Place 1 of the noodles on top of the sauce and spread one-third of the ricotta mixture over the noodle. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup of the mozzarella, and spoon 1/2 cup of the sauce evenly over the top.
Starting with a noddle, repeat the layering process twice more. Place the remaining noodle on top, cover with the remaining 1 cup sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
Cover the dish tightly with foil that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray (or use nonstick foil). Bake until the sauce bubbles lightly around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until hot throughout and the cheese is browned in spots, about 10 minutes longer. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.