Farmer Cheese Lasagna RecipeDec
12/12/2011 11:05 AM
About eight years ago at Chicago's annual Festa Pasta Vino in Little Italy, we stumbled apon a handmade cookbook called Recipes my Nonna Taught Me by Francena. Inside was a recipe for lasagna that has since become a family favorite. We've made a few tweaks over the years, including swapping out the ricotta for some delicious Lifeway Farmer Cheese and adding a ton of fresh basil.
Similar to cream cheese, but with a slightly dryer consistancy, Farmer Cheese has a smooth, slightly tangy flavor. As with all Lifeway Products, our Farmer Cheese is made with milk from grass fed cows that is free of rBGH (Bovine Growth Hormones) and antibiotics. A 1/4 cup serving contains about 80 calories and 3 grams of fat compared to the same size serving of ricotta that contains 120 calories and 9 grams of fat. A great source of protien and calcium, our Farmer Cheese is available in regular, low fat, fat-free, pressed, and organic.
To make our favorite Farmer Cheese lasagna you'll need:
- 1 pkg lasagna noodles
- 2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce (or a big batch of homemade – we like ours with garlic and olives)
- 1 lb Lifeway Farmer Cheese
- 12 oz shredded mozzarella
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbs grated parmesan
- A bunch of fresh basil, roughly chopped
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- 1 clove of fresh garlic, chopped (or a dash of garlic powder, depending on how much garlic you like)
Preheat your oven to 350 and grab a 9" x 11” glass dish. In a small bowl, mix the Farmer Cheese, egg, parmesan, garlic, basil and salt and pepper together.
Pour a layer of sauce in the bottom of the pan and lay 4 lasagna noodles down, overlapping them slightly. There’s no need to boil them first, they’ll soften up when you bake them.
On top of that, layer more sauce, some mozzarella and the Farmer Cheese mixture. Make it easy on yourself by loading up a zip-top plastic bag with the cheese mixture and cutting off one corner – then squeeze it on without spreading it and making a mess.
Continue layering the pasta, sauce, mozzarella and Farmer Cheese until the pan is full. Don’t add any cheese to the top layer, just top it off with a good amount of sauce. The liquid from the sauce will help soften the noodles, so be generous. You’ll probably end up using 1.5 jars.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes. You can top it with more parmesan or basil, or leave it as is. You can also add a layer or two of browned ground beef if you like, or Italian-style seitan crumbles if you're a vegetarian.
What's your favorite way to eat our Farmer Cheese?