This is the lasagna I’ve been making and dropping off to mamas who need a little extra help during the time of coronavirus. So the name isn’t just about my love of lasagna — it's about lasagna as a tool of love.
I borrowed this little veggie cheat that I learned while teaching with Cooking Matters. In one of their recipes, they grate veggies and mix them with cheese to put in quesadillas. All kids love quesadillas, ergo, all kids will unknowingly eat grated veggies. I tried this out with my lasagna recipe. Instead of chopping the zucchini and yellow squash, I grated it and mixed it with the mozzarella. After it's baked I cant even tell it’s there! Healthier comfort food? Yes please!
- olive oil
- 2 pounds ground beef, turkey or mix
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic
- 2 (14.5-ounce) or 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (24-ounce) jar tomato sauce
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon agave
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- pepper, to taste
- 1 pound ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 pound mozzarrella cheese, grated
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 zucchini, grated
- 1 yellow squash, grated
- 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
1. In a large pot, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the beef and turkey, breaking it up into small bits. Cook until the meat is browned. Add in the onion and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and water. Mix thoroughly, as the tomato paste tends to stay in one clump. Add the agave, salt and pepper. Simmer for an hour and a half, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes to prevent the bottom from burning.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Mix the ricotta and egg mixture together.
4. Mix the shredded mozzarella and Parmesan. Reserve one third of the mixture for the topping. To the other two thirds, add the grated zucchini and yellow squash.
5. In a 9x13-inch pan, layer: 1½ cups of sauce, 1 layer of noodles, 1/2 of the ricotta mix, 1/2 of the cheese and veggie mix, 1½ cups of sauce, another layer of noodles, the last 1/2 of the ricotta mix, the last 1/2 of the cheese and veggie mix, 1½ cups of sauce, another layer of noodles, another 1½ cups of sauce and the reserved mozzarella and Parmesan mix.
6. Cover with foil, tenting it so that it doesn't stick to the cheese. Bake for 25 minutes with the foil, then remove the foil and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until the top is golden and a little bubbly. Let it cool, then enjoy!