New Castle News


February 1, 2014

Culinary Conversation: Cook up some ‘little ears,’ ‘little worms’



  • 1, 15-ounce package part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1, 16-ounce package ziti pasta, cooked and drained
  • 28-ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

In large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs and Parmesan cheese; set aside. In another bowl, thoroughly combine hot pasta and pasta sauce.

In 13x9x2-inch baking dish, spoon in 1/2 of the pasta mixture; evenly top with ricotta cheese mixture, then remaining pasta. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Meatless Lasagna Pie

  • 14 dried lasagna noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrots (3 medium)
  • 2 cups finely chopped zucchini (1 medium)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (8 ounces)
  • 2, 6-ounce packages pre-washed baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 15-ounce carton ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 26-ounce jar tomato and basil pasta sauce (2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups shredded Italian Fontina or mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water. Drain again; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, zucchini and half the garlic. Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Transfer vegetable mixture to a bowl. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and remaining garlic. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Using a slotted spoon, transfer spinach-mushroom mixture from skillet to a bowl. Stir basil into spinach-mushroom mixture; set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together egg, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In the bottom of a 9x3-inch springform pan, spread 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce. Arrange 3 to 4 of the cooked noodles over the sauce, trimming and overlapping as necessary to cover sauce with one layer. Top with half of the spinach-mushroom mixture. Top with another layer of noodles. Spread with half of the remaining pasta sauce. Top with all of the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with half the Fontina cheese. Top with another layer of noodles. Layer with remaining spinach-mushroom mixture and remaining ricotta cheese mixture. Top with another layer of noodles and remaining sauce. Gently press down pie with the back of a spatula.

Place springform pan on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Fontina cheese; bake about 15 minutes more or until heated through. Cover and let stand on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving. Carefully remove side of pan. To serve, cut into wedges.

Swiss Chicken Bundles

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