September 18, 2010
My mouth is watering just thinking about this. Growing up my parents would make lasagna for dinner every now and then and for me and my brothers it was the best thing in the world. It was exciting for us because we were so used to eating Indian food every day. Don’t get me wrong we love Indian food but as a kid sometimes you want to just fit in and have something for dinner that your friends would have. So lasagna was one of the first “American” dinners that we had and I still love it. Its so cheesy and fattening rich and creamy you can’t help but love it. My dad would make his lasagna with basic ingredients: tomato sauce, ground beef, cottage cheese (instead of ricotta), and mozzarella cheese. For me, this is just fine, I love it the way it is but I wanted to jazz up the recipe a bit and invite new flavors to a classic.
Indian food is about bold flavors, either using a lot of different mild ingredients in a dish to make it more flavorful or one or two strong ingredients. So this is the concept I was going for. Although lasagna is pretty flavorful it doesn’t always stick out. This goat cheese idea came from an Ina Garten recipe. I saw that she had used goat cheese in one of her lasagnas so I adapted that into this recipe.
Goat cheese is tart and creamy and so good if used with the right ingredients. Instead of using too much of a good thing I decided to infuse some ricotta cheese with the goat cheese just so that you could know that the goat cheese was there without it overpowering the whole dish. To that, I added chopped green onions, some salt and pepper, and an egg to bind it all–and there is your magic mixture that makes this dish incredibley delicious.
- 9 lasagna noodles, cooked
- 1 lb cooked ground chicken any way you prefer
- 280z can of stewed tomatoes
- 8oz can of tomato paste
- 15 oz container ricotta cheese
- 8oz of goat cheese
- 1 egg
- 3 or 4 sprigs of green onion (with whites), chopped
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1 lb mozzarella cheese
1. Cook the ground chicken any way that you prefer, I cooked it with onions, garlic, salt, chili pepper, cumin and cilantro but use any spices that you like–once the meat is cooked add the stewed tomatoes and the tomato paste. Mix well and season to taste.
2. Boil the lasagna noodles half way. Drain, and place in a bowl of water to keep them from sticking.
3. In a medium sized bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, goat cheese, egg, green onions and season with salt and pepper–divide in half (for two layers in the lasagna)
3. Preheat your oven to 375°
4. Take out a lasagna baking dish, I used a 3qt casserole. Begin layering your lasagna: meat sauce, 3 lasagna noodles, meat sauce, mozarella cheese, ricotta cheese mixture, 3 lasagna noodles, meat sauce, mozarella cheese, ricotta cheese mixture, 3 lasagna noodles, meat sauce, mozzarella cheese.
5. Cover with an aluminum foil tent and bake for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool for about an hour or so before serving so that the lasagna sets.