I was tempted to title this post ‘Lasagna so easy a kid can make it’ because:
I love cooking with my kids, so when I was playing around with this recipe, which was trying to be a twist on a pork ragu in a lasagna (minus the wine because, kids) I asked Lucy to help me layer it.
This girl loves cooking, and craves any opportunity to stir a pot or stretch out some dough (licking a spatula with batter on it is her favorite, of course.)
Sometimes I feel like Lasagna can be a bit labor intensive. But I realized as I poured over some of my favorite cookbooks that they often try to have you make your own sauce with tomato sauce and canned tomatoes and oregano.Which is totally fine! Of course, making your own sauce is wonderful.
But when it is a Tuesday night and you have a jarred sauce that you love more than the canned tomato-tomato sauce routine, I appreciate saving the extra 3 steps and 10 minutes.
The pork adds such a nice flavor and texture, almost like velvet. And the fresh spinach is so, so good in here.
I also love finding helpers to help me with the labor part.
(If your kids have ever made pizza, they’ll be a pro at this final step.)
I also love how there are always leftovers of lasagna. It’s like a 2-for-1 dinner special. And the kids love to eat leftovers if it tastes this gooey and delicious.
So I hope you will try a night where you get all of the ingredients ready, and let your kids go to town.
Happy Weeknight Eating! xoxo Katie
Pork Lasagna Recipe (printer version here):
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
4 cups fresh spinach
5 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pounds ground pork
1 32 oz. jar of good quality tomato sauce (I like Rao’s)
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup pre-grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped parsley (optional)
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a large heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat until hot then stir in the onion, carrot, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in the pork, breaking up the lumps of pork with a spatula and cook, until browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in the jarred sauce and heat through. Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
Meanwhile, in a seperate bowl, combine the ricotta, parm, and parsley. Stir to combine.
In a 3-to 3 1/2-quart lasagna dish spread 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom. Place 3 lasagna noodles evenly over the sauce, leaving even space between the noodles. Top the noodle layer evenly with a layer of sauce, then place another 3 noodles on top. Spread an even layer of sauce over the noodles, then dollop half the ricotta mixture and half the mozzarella. Top with another layer of 3 noodles, then sauce, then the remaining 3 noodles and sauce. Dollop with the remaining ricotta mixture and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.
Bake until the filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes. (If it starts to brown too quickly cover with tin foil). Let the lasagna stand 10 minutes before serving.