In The Kitchen: Hearty and elegant combine for this

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By Robin McDaniel
Blount Today

For Valentine’s Day, I chose two of my favorites: Emily’s Lasagna with a side of asparagus, topped off with Strawberries in the Snow for dessert.

The lasagna recipe comes from my niece Emily Longhurst. She doesn’t save this dish for special occasions, but prepares it pretty often for her husband, Glen, and the children, Jaxon and Brooke.

I love fresh asparagus, but I sometimes have to settle for the canned kind as I did here for the picture. Anytime you can get get fresh asparagus, just steam it or -- even better -- lightly grill it.

The Strawberries in the Snow add a little elegance to this dinner in honor of Valentine’s day.

Emily’s Lasagna

1 box lasagna noodles
1 jar (1 lb. 10 oz.) size any pasta sauce, preferably onion and garlic flavored
1 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
1 egg
3 cups Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 lb. ground beef

Brown ground beef and drain. Mix in the jar of pasta sauce. Set aside.

Cook noodles, then rinse with cold water. Set aside.

In a bowl, Mix ricotta cheese, egg and parmesan cheese. Blend well.

Lay pasta noodle flat. Spread ricotta cheese mixture on top the noodle until evenly coated. Spoon on the ground beef and pasta mixture, using approximately 1/2 cup for each noodle. Sprinkle approximately 1/4 cup of Mozzarella cheese on top of the beef mixture.

Roll up noodle and place, jelly-roll style, in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Repeat with each noodle.

(Emily says she usually gets about 6 or 7 noodles per ingredients. I usually get about nine with mine. )
If you have beef mixture and mozzarella cheese left over, spoon it on top of the noodles before baking.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes or till lightly browned on top.

Serve with breadsticks or garlic toast, and steamed asparagus.

Strawberries in the Snow
Fresh strawberries
White chocolate baking squares or a 12 oz. package of white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Wash strawberries and pat dry. Melt the baking squares over low heat. Add the vegetable oil.

Dip each berry in chocolate and place on wax or parchment paper. Store in the refrigerator or a cool place until chocolate sets.

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