View Full Version : Lasagna and Baked Ziti

10-18-2008, 08:51 PM
So my husband and I have started watching the Sopranos on DVD, and naturally this has me craving lasagna. And baked ziti. I looked up the recipes from the Sopranos cookbook and they all have tons of meat in them, so that's out (we don't eat meat). But amidst my giant recipe collection, I can't seem to find any straightforward, meatless, not-fancy recipes for lasagna or for baked ziti. I want T&T recipes that don't require roasting vegetables or pureeing tofu. Tomatoes, ricotta, noodles, and whatever else is supposed to go into those things... Where have all the simple recipes gone? :(

If you have ones you love and would like to share (and preferably are not a day's worth of calories in one serving), I would greatly appreciate it!!

As a thank you, I shall post the recipe for Eggplant Parm that was on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. It is oily and not healthy but the best Eggplant Parm I have ever made!

Mike's Deli Famous Eggplant Parmigiana
Throwdown with Bobby Flay
Recipe courtesy Dave Grecco

2 large eggplants
All-purpose flour
4 eggs
Bread crumbs (recommended: Arthur Avenue Italian Deli)
1 quart marinara sauce (recommended: Arthur Avenue Italian Deli)
8 ounces sliced dry mozzarella (recommended: Arthur Avenue Italian Deli)
4 ounces grated Romano (recommended: Arthur Avenue Italian Deli)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and heat oil in a large pan, Dutch oven or deep-fryer.

Peel the eggplant and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices. Coat each side of the eggplant with the flour.

In a separate bowl beat 4 eggs and dip the eggplant into the egg to coat both sides. Then take your bread crumbs and do the same to coat each side.

Once the oil is hot, put the eggplant in the hot oil and fry until golden brown. You can also use a deep-fryer and leave in for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Once all of the eggplant has been fried, get a rectangular baking pan and start the layering by adding the marinara sauce to the bottom of the pan, then the eggplant, more sauce, fresh mozzarella, Romano cheese, and continue to layer until you have reached the top of the pan. Top off with sauce, mozzarella, and grated Romano

Place the eggplant into the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.

Yield: 6-8 servings

10-19-2008, 07:53 AM
My sister has the best spinach lasagna recipe. Very easy, not watery and great for company as well. I have emailed her to get it b/c I cannot find my copy and I will send on in a little while.

10-19-2008, 10:24 AM
I make this baked ziti all the time. It's from Cooks' Illustrated and doesn't require any over-the-top prep work.

Baked Ziti

To complete this recipe in 30 minutes, preheat your oven before assembling your ingredients. If your skillet is not ovensafe, transfer the pasta mixture into a shallow 2-quart casserole dish before sprinkling with the cheese and baking. Packaged pre-shredded mozzarella is a real time-saver here. Penne can also be used here.
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 garlic cloves , minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Table salt and ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
12 ounces ziti (3 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Making the Minutes Count: Measure the water and the pasta before you begin cooking. Prep the Parmesan and basil while the pasta cooks.

Heat Oven: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees.

Simmer Ziti: Combine oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in 12-inch, ovensafe nonstick skillet and sauté over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, water, ziti, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain vigorous simmer, until ziti is almost tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

Add Cheese and Bake: Stir in cream, Parmesan, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over ziti. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cheese has melted and browned, about 10 minutes.

10-19-2008, 10:56 AM
I use this CL recipe (http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=577288), and sub the meat crumbles for the ground beef... I have not had a single person be able to tell that I've done it! Tastes GREAT!!!

10-19-2008, 03:40 PM
Oooooh both of those lasagna and ziti recipes sound delicious! Thank you! I am going to try both of them soon!

10-19-2008, 03:59 PM
I should pay more attention! Both of these are meatless and fairly easy:

Oven-baked Ziti With Three Cheeses

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion -- chopped
2 large garlic cloves -- chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce -- (8 ounce)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dried oregano -- crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 container ricotta cheese -- (15 ounce)
1 egg
8 ounces mozzarella cheese -- grated
12 ounces Freshly Cooked Ziti or Other Tubular Pasta

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic and fennel seeds and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, water, oregano and sage. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Butter 9x13-inch glass baking dish. In medium bowl combine ricotta cheese and egg. Reserve 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese for topping. Add remaining mozzarella to ricotta cheese mixture and blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread 1/4 of tomato sauce over bottom of prepared dish. Layer 1/3 of pasta over. Drop half of ricotta cheese mixture over by spoonfuls. Spread 1/4 of sauce over. Repeat layering with another 1/3 of pasta, remaining cheese mixture, 1/4 of sauce and remaining pasta. Spread remaining sauce over and sprinkle with reserved mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Cover casserole and bake until heated through, about 40 minutes.

Serves 6.

Bon Appétit
October 1992
Marie T. Mora: Albuquerque, New Mexico

And the "easy" one, that I make just for me:

Baked Ziti

8 ounces ziti
15 ounce container ricotta cheese
3 cups (about 12 ounces) shredded mozzarella,
3 cups spaghetti sauce, divided (homemade or
bottled, whatever you prefer)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot, cook ziti in boiling water until just barely tender; drain and place in large bowl.
Mix ricotta cheese and 1/2 the mozzarella with the ziti. Cover the bottom of a 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray and spread 1/2 the sauce over the bottom. Put ziti with cheeses in pan; top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan and top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese melts and is lightly golden.

I don't even measure with this one...I just do a half box of noodles, a container of ricotta, a jar of spaghetti sauce, and a package of shredded mozarella and parm.

I really like combining the hot noodles with the cheese, IMO it disperses the cheese through the whole casserole more. I even do that with the first recipe, even though it doesn't say to do it that way.

10-19-2008, 04:19 PM
So my husband and I have started watching the Sopranos on DVD, and naturally this has me craving lasagna. And baked ziti.

This made me laugh. DH and I always craved either of these after watching!

CL has published several veggie lasagna and ziti recipes, so a search should turn up a few.

Two episodes come to mind (no spoilers!): Carmela makes ziti for the Priest and tosses it in the trash. :eek: What a waste of good pasta!!
Tony makes a comment about the lasagna Carmela makes that has leaves of basil just under the cheese on top. I started adding fresh basil (in season) to my veggie version (no recipe as it changes all the time) under the top layer of cheese and we love the results! In the winter I have a stash of frozen basil that gets layered in.

10-19-2008, 04:58 PM
This afternoon I made Spinach and Prosciutto Lasagna. I got it from Joe's blog (http://desertculinary.blogspot.com/) and he adapted it from Everyday Food. It's TASTY!!! I think the next time I make it I may increase the amount of prosciutto that I use, but I really liked it and would recommend it. It was simple to make and quit to put together and to cook. I didn't do any nutritional analysis on it, but I can't imagine it's too bad - I used part skim ricotta and part skim mozzarella, so that helps! The recipe's below -

Spinach and Prosciutto Lasagna

Source: Everyday Food

20 oz. frozen chopped spinach… thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1 clove garlic… minced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 C. marinara sauce
4 oz. procuittio… thinly sliced, then diced
6 no-boil lasagna noodles
4 oz. mozzarella… shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, add spinach, ricotta, garlic, crushed red pepper, black pepper and salt - stir until well combined.

In a medium bowl, stir together marinara sauce and prosciutto.

Lightly coat an 8" square baking dish with cooking spray - scoop about 1/4 cup of the marinara into the baking dish and spread to an even layer. Set 2 noodles over the sauce - layer 1/3 filling and 1/3 of the remaining sauce mixture on top. Repeat process twice and scatter the top with mozzarella cheese.

Place into the oven and bake until thoroughly heated through and the top has browned, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove and let cool at least 5 minutes before servings.

Makes about 4 servings.

10-19-2008, 05:47 PM
Carmela makes ziti for the Priest and tosses it in the trash. :eek: What a waste of good pasta!!

We're not very far into the series so far since we're watching it through Netflix, but that was the last episode we saw! I had been saying how yummy her pasta looked. I cringed when she threw it all away :( At least she kept the nice dish though. I was afraid that would get tossed too.

It's funny though because that scene is what pushed me to post this thread!!!

10-20-2008, 08:27 AM
Here is my sister's Spinach Lasagne. It's super-yummy.

2 c. grated mozzarella
1/2 c. grated parmesan
10-12 lasagne noodles - cooked per package

2 T. butter
1 c. chopped onion
2 c. mushrooms
2 (7.5 oz) cans tomato sauce
5.5 oz. can tomato paste
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. salt
1 t. granulated sugar
1/4 t. dried basil
Melt butter in pan - add onion and cook until soft and clear. Add mushrooms - saute 3-5 minutes. Add next 6 ingredients. Stir and simmer uncovered 10-15 minutes.

Spinach Layer:
2 c. cottage cheese
1 egg
salt, pepper, nutmeg
10 ox. chopped, thawed spinach (with all water squeezed out)
Combine all spinach layer ingredients in a bowl.

To assemble: Layer in greased 9x13 in. pan
1. very thin layer of sauce
2. layer of noodles
3. 1/2 sauce
3. 1/2 spinach mixture
4. layer of noodles
5. 1/2 spinach mixture
6. 1/2 sauce
7. mozzarella
8. parmesan

Cover with greased foil. Bake at 350 F for 50-60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

heavy hedonist
10-20-2008, 11:29 AM
Here is my sister's Spinach Lasagne. It's super-yummy.

mmm, looks absolutely wonderful, thank you for posting it, and your sister for perfecting it.