Just about the opposite of that would be individually prepared lasagnas. Sounds a little crazy with overhead, but you'd be surprised. I ran into this recipe in a somewhat older cookbook by Pierre Franey, called Cooking in America. His idea was that individual lasagnas are a great dish to put together with children. He's right. Do a little prep cooking early, then just assemble them with kids and pop them in the oven. It's a twist on the pizza night, with lasagna.
The original recipe was simplified to use only ricotta, mozzarella, parsley, salmon and provolone. I took it a little further, because I had a few more ingredients on hand. Make it as simple or complex as time allows, but do the prep cooking of the pasta earlier in the day.
You cook up some lasagna pasta early in the day, lay it out on plates with a little olive oil so they don't stick to each other. You can prep other ingredients, like browning a little Italian sausage, cubes of pancetta, strips of chicken, or panful of fresh spinach, garlic and red pepper flakes.
Then place a few strips of lasagna in an oil coated oven-proof dish, add a few ingredients - I placed cooked Italian sausage on the bottom, then a chunk of salmon, then a mixture of goat cheese and ricotta into which I put some chopped herbs, and a sprinkling of decent mozzarella. Fold over one side of the pasta, add another dollop of cheese and/or sausage. Fold the last third over, then top with - and I think this is a brilliant yet simple touch - a slice of provolone.
Sure more mozzarella would be OK, but the provolone adds a third or fourth kind of cheese. Using a slice, say from the deli, provides a perfectly even thickness, which makes for excellent browning in a high heat oven.
I didn't mean to write a whole story about this dish, but I guess I can't contain my excitement about the technique and the results. I hope you try it.
Individual Salmon and Sausage Lasagna
1 pound lasagna noodles cooked - about 20 or 24
1 pound Italian sausage
1 pound fresh salmon, preferably Sockeye
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 ounces goat cheese
1 clove garlic, smashed and finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons of fresh herbs, finely chopped
1 cup or more fresh mozzarella, torn or grated coarsely
8 slices provolone
Tomato sauce, optional
- Cook lasagna per package directions. Reserve, brushed with olive oil so noodles don't stick.
- Brown sausage and drain oil.
- Combine ricotta, goat cheese garlic and herbs. Mix thoroughly, season with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Preheat over to 375 degrees.
- Place 2 or 3 lasagna noodles into individual oven-proof baking dishes, laying long ends over the sides of the dish.
- Sprinkle cooked sausage onto pasta. Place a salmon fillet atop the sausage. Add a dollop or two of the herb cheese mixture. Sprinkle mozzarella atop.
- Fold one side of the pasta over the fish/cheese mixture. Add more herb cheese and mozzarella.
- Fold the last side of the pasta over and top with a slice of provolone.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is browned. Top with a spoonful or two of warm tomato sauce, if you think lasagna must have some red in it:)