Remember when large Sunday suppers were a weekly tradition? Aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents gathered for delicious food and time to catch up. But, these dinners have become more challenging–with families spread around the country and the world, and kids more distracted than ever with multiple activities, cellphones, Instagram, etc. Spending quality time with family is more important than ever in today's fast past world.
Whether you have a large extended family or it's just the people living in your house, why not bring back the tradition of a family meal with one of our delicious meal ideas?
This week we are kicking off our Sunday Suppers with Lunchbox Love with a hearty Italian meal of lasagne. This recipe has been modified from Southern Living magazine and, partnered with a big green salad and some crusty garlic bread, makes a perfect meal for a hungry crowd.
Note: The sauce is time-consuming but worth the extra effort. Make a big batch of it on a weekend, and freeze it to have on hand for a quick weeknight dinner.
Lunchbox Love Lasagne
(adapted from SouthernLiving.com)
(photo courtesy of SouthernLiving.com)
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- .5 pound lean ground beef
- .5 pound ground turkey
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 2 (6-oz.) cans tomato paste
- 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
- 8 cups boiling water
- 1 (16-oz.) container ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 (6-oz.) packages part-skim mozzarella cheese slices
Sauté onion in 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add beef and turkey, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain meat mixture, and return to skillet. Stir in diced tomatoes, next 5 ingredients, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf; set meat sauce aside.
Place lasagna noodles in a 13- x- 9-inch pan. Carefully pour 8 cups boiling water and remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil over noodles. Let stand 15 minutes.
Stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper until blended.
Spoon half of the meat sauce mixture in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Shake excess water from noodles, and arrange 6 noodles over meat sauce; top with half of ricotta mixture and 1 package mozzarella cheese slices. Repeat layers once.
- Bake, covered, at 350° for 55 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until bubbly. Let lasagna stand 10 minutes before serving.