A little preparation can go a long way.
You can create your own convenience food from scratch with this make-ahead version of a family-favourite meal. The simple assembly means you can whip this up after dinner one night and have it ready to pop in the oven the next. While it bakes to creamy, cheesy perfection, toss a salad, set the table and get ready to relax and enjoy.
1/4 cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tsp (10 mL) dried Italian herb seasoning
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
2 cups (500 mL) 10% half-and-half or 18% table cream
2 cups (500 mL) reduced-sodium tomato pasta sauce
1 cup (250 mL) water
16 oven-ready lasagna noodles
2 pkgs (500 g) frozen diced Mediterranean vegetables
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) shredded Canadian provolone or asiago or mozzarella cheese
Butter a 13-by-9-inch (3 L) glass baking dish. In a saucepan, whisk together flour, Italian seasoning and pepper. Gradually whisk in cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking often. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking, for 2 min. or until thick. Remove from heat; whisk in 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) pasta sauce and 1/2 cup (125 mL) water.
Pour remaining pasta sauce and water into baking dish; stir and spread evenly. Arrange 4 of the noodles on top of sauce, breaking to fit. Spread 1/3 of the tomato cream sauce on top of noodles. Sprinkle one package of vegetables on top of sauce; sprinkle with 1/3 of cheese. Top with 4 more noodles, 1/2 of remaining sauce and the remaining package of vegetables. Sprinkle with 1/2 of remaining cheese. Top with noodles, spread with sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Cover baking dish with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake lasagna, covered, for about 40 min. or until hot, bubbling and noodles are tender. Uncover and bake for 10 min. or until topping is browned. Let stand for 10 min. before serving.
When buying tomato pasta sauce, check the Nutrition Facts label on the jar and choose the one lowest in sodium. If you prefer, you can use a homemade, smooth tomato sauce.
Recipe and photo provided by Dairy Farmers of Canada. For more recipe ideas, visit www.dairygoodness.ca.
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