Sunday, January 20, 2008

Chicken Lasagna with Smoked Mozzarella, Broccoli, and Homemade Garlic Bread

After so many budget meals I needed something a little more upscale. I found this recipe on my local newspaper's website but at the bottom it cites from where it really came. This was good. I don't know if I'd make it again, though. I think it would actually be better with alfredo sauce instead of a marinara sauce.

Chicken Lasagna with Smoked Mozzarella

Serves 6 to 8

Nonstick or olive oil spray
1 container (about 15 ounces) ricotta cheese
8 ounces smoked mozzarella, coarsely shredded
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 jar (24 to 26 ounces) marinara sauce
½ cup water
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
9 no-boil lasagna noodles (an 8-ounce box contains 12) I used 12, actually.
8 ounces (about 2 cups) cooked chicken, (rotisserie or homemade) shredded
½ cup shredded Pecorino-Romano cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13-by-10-inch baking dish lightly and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, smoked mozzarella, salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Combine marinara, water and tomato sauce. Pour some sauce in the prepared baking dish so it covers bottom of dish. Place 3 noodles on top. Spread with another layer of sauce, and top with a third of the ricotta mixture and a third of the chicken. Repeat layers twice more, beginning with a layer of noodles and ending with a layer of sauce.

3. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with Romano cheese and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle top with olive oil and let rest 15 minutes before cutting.

Note: Resting the lasagna before cutting allows the steam trapped inside to be absorbed into the pasta layers, causing the pasta to plump and soften more. Since there is less unabsorbed water, the center is drier and the lasagna is less likely to ooze and fall apart.

From "Homemade in a Hurry: More than 300 Shortcut Recipes for Delicious Home-Cooked Meals" by Andrew Schloss

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