Cook time: About 1 hour -- You can prepare this dish a day ahead, then pop it in the oven while the kids are working on their creations.
Yield: 8 servings
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb bulk sweet Italian pork sausage
3 cups tomato sauce
3½ cups ricotta
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbs chopped fresh basil, or 1 tsp dried, optional
1 cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper
4 cups raw baby spinach or regular spinach, chopped
1. Place the lasagna noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water; let soften for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat. Cook sausage meat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Reduce the heat to low, add 1 cup of the tomato sauce, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
2. In a bowl, mix the ricotta, goat cheese, eggs, basil, ½ cup of parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch pan. Add 1/3 of the softened lasagna noodles on top. Place half the spinach on top, pressing down to make a flat layer. Add half the ricotta mixture, spreading it out in an even layer. Top with the sausage mixture and then another 1/3 of the noodles. Add the remaining spinach and cheese mixture, and top with the remaining layer of pasta. Pour the last cup of the tomato sauce on top of the lasagna noodles and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan. The lasagna can be prepared to this point and refrigerated up to 24 hours ahead or frozen for three months.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On the middle shelf, bake the lasagna for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
How kids can help: Measure the ingredients; stir the cheese mixture; carefully layer the ingredients in the baking dish.
Per serving 1/8 recipe: 543 calories, 33 g fat (18 g saturated), 1,175 mg sodium, 123 mg cholesterol.
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes -- If you like, prepare and chill for several hours before baking. For kids, heat a plain loaf and brush it with butter when it's out of the oven.
Yield: 8 servings
4 Tbs butter
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary or thyme, or 2 tsp dried
Freshly ground black pepper
1 baguette or crusty loaf of bread, cut in half lengthwise
1. In a small saucepan, heat the butter, garlic, and herbs and let simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the pepper and cook 1 minute.
2. Remove from the heat and, using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, spread the mixture on both sides of the bread. Sandwich the two bread halves together and cut into 1-inch-wide slices. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread on the middle shelf for about 15 minutes, or until warm. Remove from the oven and let cool for a minute.
How kids can help: Measure ingredients; brush butter on bread.
Per serving 1/8 recipe: 145 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated), 235 mg sodium, 12 mg cholesterol.