Desperation Dinner: You know this kind of dinner.. your pantry has some ingredients but not enough to make something you have in mind.. so you substitute. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not work. This is one that worked and boy did it ever work! My family loves Lasagna, but I had neither ground beef or sausage to add to the filling and we didn’t want just plain or just spinach lasagne – no, that is too close to being healthy! We like to live on the side of not good for you! Well, actually, we are in process of changing that… but last year we lived!!!
My brother was in town for Thanksgiving – he lives in Harrisburg, PA and we do not see him very often. Since he is single, he comes to see us about every other year. He had a craving for lasagna, but I did not have the meat as I mentioned before… but I did have this: Pepperoni! I made the lasagna as usual, except used pepperoni instead of the sausage. Baked it as usual and the result was wonderful! It is now my families favorite lasagna.
- 2 (28 oz) cans spaghetti sauce (I like Hunts Traditional in the can- sometimes on sale for a dollar)
- 1 (9 oz) box Barilla No Boil Lasagna (or other pasta will work- even the ones you should pre cook but you don’t have to trust me)
- 1 (15 oz) container Ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 2 eggs
- 1 (4 oz) package Hormel sliced pepperoni
- 1 (16 oz) bag Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
Preheat oven to 375 F.
I like to use my large pampered chef stoneware casserole. The sides are over 2 inches and the lasagna so far has never bubbled over like it has in a pyrex dish- but you still can use it, just place a cookie sheet under it if that is all you have. The beauty of the stoneware is that you do not have to spray it with non stick spray.
To make the lasagna, ladle half a can of spaghetti sauce into the bottom of your baking dish. Place the (uncooked) lasagna noodles on top of the sauce, slightly overlapping. Combine the ricotta cheese, egg, oregano, basil and half the Mozzarella cheese in a bowl and spread half of the cheese mixture over the lasagna noodles. Top with half of the pepperoni slices. Ladle the remaining sauce from the first can of spaghetti sauce. Top with noodles. Repeat layers. End with lasagna noodles, pasta sauce, and remaining Mozzarella Cheese. If you would like an extra crunch add about 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes. Uncover and cook until the cheese is melted for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Cover with foil again and let sit for about 10-15 minutes.