So I discovered I could do this because I was in one of those mental spaces where I didn't want to waste food and I didn't want to buy food. We are going on a trip tomorrow and it was one of those situations where I knew if I looked hard enough I could make something quick.
There was half a cup of leftover bolognese sauce. There was shredded cheese. In my pantry, there was the Trader Joe's Lasagna noodles that require no prep. With these handy, I just had to find a container that was big enough to make the smallest lasagna.
I noticed the small baking dishes I bought during a holiday sale a while back. I felt so pleased. A few month earlier, I had consciously made the decision to store them where they were readily visible. Today, that intention that I had put in place was playing out as I had hoped it would. That felt good.
Anyway. After the ingredients were gathered, it was simply a matter or assembly, covering with a tin foil and baking.
I didn't know how long to bake it for. The size of this lasagna was approximately 1/3 of the lasagna's I usually make and for a regular size lasagna, the baking time is about 60 minutes at 400. So for this. one, I decided on 20 minutes (1/3 of 60
minutes) with temperature still at 400.
I also covered it with tin foil to create a "steam environment" and use the water from the pasta to cook the noodles. Without the tin foil, the water will evaporate which will result in the sauce drying up and the noodles being stiff and undercooked. All of this thought around water and how to use steam to cook food was regular conversation in the kitchen when I was little and helped her prep food. Those conversations came through again this time.
At the end of the baking time, I removed the tin foil and finished it off in the broiler for about 3 minutes. When I took the foil off, the lasagna looked really greasy for some reason so I used a folded napkin to absorb the grease before I put it in the broiler.
I was happy with the mathematical approximation of the timing for the cooking.
It made me think that this would make a great activity of make your own dinner and a salad either for a kids sleepover or even for an adult date night with another couple.
It doesn't have to be bolognese sauce, as you can guess. You can use regular pasta sauce. Add in bell peppers, onions, garlic right into the sauce. Layer it similarly with the cheese.
Here are some general ingredient and how to guidelines but this dish is whatever you want to make it.
Ground protein of your choice (pork, chicken, beef, soy grounds) or vegetable (sliced onions, peppers, garlic)
1 tablespoon Oil
Heat oil in a pan and brown the protein. If doing a vegetarian lasagna, then lightly saute the vegetables.
Add the pasta sauce.
Spray the individual baking dishes with oil.
Make sure to layer the bottom of the dish with the pasta sauce to start. This is important. Without this, the bottom layer of the noodles will be hard and uncooked.
Put the first layer of noodle. Add the bolognese sauce (or vegetable sauce) and then the cheese.
Add the noodles again and repeat the layering.
Stop with cheese as the final layer.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven. Turn off the oven and turn the broiler on.
Put the baking dish into the broiler and brown the cheese for 2-3 minutes.
Take out of the over. Let cool and serve with a salad.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if anything is unclear or if you have any questions. If you try this recipe and it works for you or made modifications, please leave a comment to let the community know.