December 26 is our traditional Pasta Day. Most of our extended family like to extend our Christmas celebrating, so I make a huge pot of Pasta Shuta for dinner. The Paladinis have good appetites, but there is always some left. This year I put the leftover in the freezer, with a plan to try something new – Pasta Shuta Lasagna. A few days ago I told my grandson, Caleb, that was what I was going to make for dinner, and he was so excited. “I want to help you make Mazanya!” He clapped his hands. How could I resist such enthusiasm? “How about if you make it,” I suggested, “and I will help you a little bit. But first you need to go wash your hands really good with a lot of soap.”
Here’s the ingredients:
A 9×13 Pyrex dish
A 9 oz. box of Barilla Oven-Ready Lasagna
About 6 cups of leftover pasta shuta sauce.
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 pound frozen spinach, defrosted
3 cups cottage cheese
1 tsp. dried basil
About 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
Here’s how to make it:
Slice any leftover Italian sausage links, and stir the tomato sauce into the pasta shuta sauce so it will be more spreadable.
Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the lasagna dish.
Place four uncooked pieces of lasagna on top of sauce. Spread another layer of sauce on noodles, and top it with four more pieces of lasagna.
Squeeze excess water from the spinach.
Cover the noodles with a layer of spinach.
Mix the cottage cheese, egg, and dried basil. Spoon this mixture on top of the spinach.
Place one more layer of lasagna noodles on the cottage cheese.
Cover the noodles with the remaining sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella.
We covered it with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for the rest of the day.
When it was time to prepare dinner we baked it at 350° for one hour.
Nathan and Audrey were home from school by that time, so Nathan spread butter on garlic bread, and Audrey arranged an antipasto.
It was a group effort, but the biggest kudos went to Caleb, who “made the Mazanya” all by himself.