I like being in a recipe club because it forces me to think outside of my usual food box. I’m exposed to a whole new variety of dishes, from all around the country, that were usually made and enjoyed in hotels and restaurants. It’s also really fun to be given the same challenge as some of your blogging friends and see how differently we all interpret the recipe. For this month’s Burwell General Store Recipe Swap, our recipe was Tomato Pudding.
I’m sorry, come again, a sweet tomato pudding?? I have NEVER heard of such a thing… I realize tomatoes can be sweetened, like tomato jam, YUM. But in a pudding, not for dessert, for a side dish. Um, no thanks. I’ll pass. I mean, if it was put in front of me, I’d try a bite, I’m not even saying I wouldn’t like it, I might. But I had NO desire to make it.
I looked at the recipe a few times to gather inspiration on what changes to make, what direction I should take it. Should I stay in the sweet category, move to savory, make it an appetizer, or an entree??? It didn’t take me long to decide I needed to turn this recipe into lasagna. And that was that.
Sure, you don’t need to make all the ingredients from scratch, you can buy sauce and ricotta. BUT, they are SO easy to make, like soooooo easy, that I encourage and challenge you to make them yourself. I’ll even give you a timeline. It will take only a few minutes a day each day, and on the final day you’ll have a homemade lasagna that will feed an army, or give you leftovers all week.
I made this for Easter and followed this exact timeline. Easter Sunday all I had to do was pull the pre-baked lasagna from the fridge, pop it into the oven, and about an hour later, voila, lasagna is served.
Day 1: make the marinara Sauce
Day 2: make the ricotta
Day 3: Roast veggies
Day 4: Assemble and bake lasagna, eat lasagna
Day 5: Refrigerate or freeze for later.
See, so all the prep time spent in the kitchen will be justified when you don’t have to spend barely anytime in the kitchen because you’ll have leftovers!
Layering the lasagna isn’t complicated, but because there are a lot of layers and ingredients, the instructions seem long. Basically, as long as you start with a layer of marinara sauce, then a layer of noodles, and top the entire thing with tons of mozzarella, whatever is in between all of that will be juuuuust fine. Lasagna is pretty forgiving.
If you’re using no boil noodles, you’ll want to make sure there is sauce as a layer next to your noodles, to give them some moisture to cook the noodle.
The marinara sauce recipe makes more than you’ll need for the lasagna. The leftovers can be store in the fridge for for a week or so, or frozen for a few months. I’ll be posting a recipe soon for what I did with my leftovers!
If you make the lasagna ahead of time and refrigerate it, bake it at 350 degrees for an hour.
If you freeze the lasagna for a later time, bake it at 350 degrees, FROZEN, for about an hour and 30 minutes, until it’s bubbling around the edges.