I thought today we might talk a little about time management. Not because I'm any expert at it, but because doing well at it is something I'm always striving for. There are so many things to do in a day, no matter if you are a parent running your kids around, a working professional trying to get important projects out the door, a retired person enjoying your many hobbies, or really, anything you have to or love to get done in a day. So what does this have to do with lasagna? Well, a lot actually. Because no matter what else we have to get done in a day, we most certainly have to eat. And when we can make double duty of one dish, I'd say that's a pretty good stride towards managing our time. This is one of my new goals, and I'm starting with bolognese sauce!
Remember when we made a delicious bolognese sauce and saved ourselves a lot of time by letting it basically simmer all day in the slow cooker? Now we are going to make doubly good use of that time by turning the leftover sauce into an amazing lasagna.
I know what you are thinking... lasagna is a lot of work, right? Not in this case. The sauce is ready to go and we are going to use those wonderful oven ready noodles as a great little shortcut. (As an aside, if you like making homemade noodles, this will turn out even that much better. But it's still so delicious, even with dried noodles).
I do (strongly) suggest taking a couple of extra minutes to shred your own cheese from the block. It will be so much more melty and smooth and who doesn't love that. I pretty much shred all my own cheese. Depending on how much I need to shred I will either use this box grater or this attachment on my stand mixer (handy!). And I often coerce my teenager into doing it for me by convincing him it builds muscles 🙂
Layer this all up with a wonderful homemade béchamel sauce and you will have a dinner that's out of this world. My family gobbled this down in no time and the beauty is it make a big pan so it's likely you will have leftover for a few lunches (even more time savings!).
So what are some of your favorite cooking timesavers? Have you figure out the secret to good time management?
- 4-6 cups leftover bolognese sauce
- 9 oz oven ready lasagna noodles 15-16 sheets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3-4 cups Mozzarella
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
For béchamel sauce:
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- salt to taste
Let's start by making the béchamel sauce:
- Melt butter in saucepan over medium high heat
- Whisk in flour until smooth
- Slowly add in milk while continuing to whisk over medium high heat until fully incorporated
- Turn heat up slightly and continue to whisk as you bring liquid to a slight simmer
- Continue until sauce is thickened enough to coat/stick to a spoon (about 3-5 minutes)
- Add a pinch of salt to taste and set aside
- Spread olive oil on bottom of pan (and you can add a couple of spoonfuls of sauce too, if desired)
- Now it's time to create your first layer: 5 noodles, 1 ½ - 2 cups bolognese, 1 cup béchamel and 1 - 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella plus ½ cup grated parmesan
- Repeat for second layer
- For final layer: skip the béchamel sauce
- Cover with foil
- Bake at 375 for 30 minutes
- Remove foil and continue to bake until browned and bubbly, about 10-15 more minutes
- Remove from oven and let stand for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing
Note: You could also make this in a casserole slow cooker instead of the oven. You would follow the same assembly instructions and then slow cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6.
Looking for a lasagna recipe you can make entirely in the slow cooker? I've got those too!!
Or what about a Slow Cooker Zucchini Lasagna?
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