Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Ava’s Lazy Lasagna

I hate that recipes are so “exact.” I’m not that “exact” of a person, I’m more of a “just enough” person when it comes to cooking. So I just wanted to record a baked pasta dish that I sometimes make and I really love it. It’s kinda like lasagna except I don’t use lasagna sheets. Cooking is so fun for me! I don’t go by measurements so I’m going to eyeball it and make educated guesses. Recipe is for serving about 6-8 people or as a potluck sized dish. I like to listen to music while I cook so that I can dance crazy or sing badly at the same time. Preferably Lady Gaga, Green Day, 100 Monkeys, or Thomas Ian Nicholas Band.

a 9×13 baking pan
a medium mixing bowl
rubber spatula
a large saucepan or a wok

1 lb. dried penne (or any similar shape)
1 lb. ground turkey (any meat is good)
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 Tblsp sugar
2 Tblsp light soy sauce
3 Tblsp olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
3 1/2 cups plain tomato sauce (or marinara works too but no pre-made spaghetti sauce)
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tblsp light soy sauce
2 Tblsp sugar
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 cup celery, finely diced
1 cup carrots, finely diced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil pasta per box instructions.
3. Place turkey, cornstarch, sugar and soy sauce in mixing bowl, . Mix well & set aside.
4. Turn pan on medium high heat and add oil.
5. Saute onions until slightly soft. If you are using celery & carrots, add with onions and saute until carrots are al dente.
6. Add garlic & saute for a few more minutes or until onions are translucent.
7. Add meat. Use spatula to scrap every last bit of it. Fry until meat is cooked through. (No pink!)
8. Reserve 1/2 cup of tomato sauce & set aside.
9. Add 3 cups of tomate sauce, tomato paste, soy sauce, sugar to pan and stir for about 5 minutes.
10. Add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Turn off heat.
11. Spread the reserved 1/2 cup of tomato suace on bottom of baking dish.
12. Begin layering of pasta, meat sauce, sour cream, cheddar cheese. Amounts do not have to be a full layer.
13. Repeat until you reach top of pan.
14. Sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese.
15. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted to your liking.
16. Remove from oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
17. Enjoy with a good salad, good friends and a great appetite!

Make sauce, not love.


Layering pasta just tastes better than mixing it all together.

Tastes good cold too. :0)

Ava’s Mac N Cheesy

So…I decided to make my own macaroni & cheese for Thanksgiving. I’ve never made it before but it turned out great!! So I decided to post the recipe so that I can always refer to it if I ever need to.

Ava’s Mac N Cheesy

16 oz. uncooked elbow macaroni
1 T dried oregano
3 T salt
1 1/2 lb. extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (Bought at Safeway)
8 oz. light blend of monterey jack, cheddar, & mozzarella cheese, grated (Bought at Trader Joe’s)
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup 2% reduced fat milk
Salt & pepper to taste
1 c frozen peas (optional)
Extra cheddar cheese, grated, for topping

Potato Topping (optional)
3 cups seasoned tater tots, thawed & crumbled (Bought them at Safeway)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook pasta, per package instructions. Before adding macaroni, sprinkle salt & oregano to water at boiling point.
3. Drain pasta and transfer to a nonstick pot big enough to stir around the pasta with the cheese.
4. Add cheddar cheese, blended cheese, sour cream & cottage cheese.
5. Mix in pot until cheese melts, add milk. Add peas (optional).
6. Add salt & pepper to taste.
7. Transfer macaroni & cheese to a 9 x 13 x 2 in baking dish, non-stick preferred.
8. Even out top of macaroni.
9. Sprinkle extra cheese on top & bake until cheese melts, approximately 20 minutes.
10. If adding in Potato Topping, mix together crumbled tater tots with melted butter & grated parmigiano reggiano.
11. Sprinkle on top evenly & bake until tater tots are browned, approximately 20 minutes.
12. Pop in a New Kids on the Block DVD and enjoy with mac n cheese, they go best together. :0)

I have to say, these measurements are just an educated guess for me. I keep tasting the food as I go along to see if I need more flavor or not. I guess this is more of a guide than a recipe then. Either way, good luck! Please comment if you have made it or have made something similar, I’d love to hear about it! :0)