Posted in Chef Lane

Fake Lasagna–Real* Good

Here is an easy, fake lasagna recipe that Thor & B both liked well enough to go seconds on.  It’s been quite a while since either of them asked for seconds out of my kitchen.  Am now self-congratulatory and happy to share the recipe I cribbed from Creamland, then changed up to suit my own tastes.


1 box rigatoni pasta

1 jar spaghetti sauce

1lb ground lamb

1 80z container of ricotta cheese

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1tbs basil

2tbs italian seasoning

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 egg


Boil the rigatoni while oven pre-heats to 350.

Brown lamb into small chunks with 1/2 the italian seasoning and 1/2 the salt (you may want more salt to taste.)

While rigatoni and lamb are cooking, combine 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce and everything else in a mixing bowl and stir like crazy, until everything is well blended and smooth.  Add the lamb and mix.  Set aside until pasta is finished.

Drain your pasta and add it to the mix.  Stir until pasta is well covered.

Spray non-stick to the bottom of a casserole and pour in a little sauce to cover the bottom.  Pour in the pasta/lamb/cheese mix and cover with more sauce.  Sprinkle more parm or some shredded cheese on top.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Eat.  Tasty!

*I very nearly could not use this title because, grammatically, real is incorrect.  It should be “really good” but that doesn’t scan as nicely as “Fake Lasagna–Real Good”, so…  Footnote.

Posted in Chef Lane

Chef Lane: Say Cheese! And Bacon.

I have this Alton Brown recipe for baked macaroni and cheese in the oven right now. This went over very well the last few times I made it.

In the past, I have added storebought, pre-cooked, real bacon bits to spice up the dish. Today, while I was boiling macaroni and making the sauce, I was also frying bacon over a medium heat. My bacon finished up just after the macaroni, so I strained out my pasta and set my cooked bacon aside. I poured the bacon grease into the bottom of my casserole dish and bounced some pasta into it, stirred it up good and thought, “There is still flavor in that skillet.” So, I poured my pasta into the casserole through the skillet. I poured the pasta into the skillet and bounced it around to coat it, then poured that into the casserole.

By the time all the pasta was in there, it was shiny with bacon grease. If that doesn’t sound good to you, you’ve never been to Georgia. (Now I’m missing Home.)

Then, I broke up my bacon into confetti sized pieces and stirred that into the pasta before folding in the sauce and cheese as the recipe directs. Remember that I’m only cooking with a few pieces of ware, so I am having to be a little creative with my timing and my use. I had my pasta cooking in my casserole, had my bacon frying in my skillet, and my sauce going in my only saucepan, so I had to do my transfers differently than the recipe calls for doing.

I’m excited for this to come out of the oven.