Lasagna Bolognese

Lasagna always seems like such a fuss, and I’ll admit it, I usually just go for a frozen one. It always seems like too much work to make a real one, from scratch, and frozen ones aren’t that bad (if you avoid the orange grease stain that is Stouffer’s). So it’s kind of ironic that I made this last night, because real work at my real job was eating my figurative baby and I needed to be able to put something in the oven for an hour and forget about it.

This is why I took the time to can my tomatoes last summer. It was precisely for this reason. I can totally shirk my duties without feeling like a lazy wife or a shitty blogger, because technically, this is homemade sauce. (Not that any of you should ever feel bad about using store-bought sauce. I’m just an over-achiever.)

This is why I grow and sauce my own tomatoes, grind my own beef and can my own Bolognese sauce. I’m banking my time and energy in canned food form, to withdraw at a future, overworked date. A good thing, too, is a box of no-cook lasagna noodles, already snuggling in my pasta drawer amongst my jars of summer sun. A bag of baby spinach and a cube of extra firm (silken) tofu got blitzed to stand in for ricotta (adding a spoonful of creme frâiche for dairy twang, and a little sea salt and fennel seed for flavor).

A nutmeggy bechamel layer, noodles, Bolognese (heated through with some leftover sausage and mushrooms), noodles, spinachy-tofu smoosh, noodles, then all remaining sauce, topped with shredded mozz and parm*. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Wait, it looks like I had to cook after all…

Serve with a juicy Spanish grenache and unmitigated languor.

*Note: this got a little on the extra-browned side of melty, but was still good. I just added extra cheese when it came out of the oven. Next time I’ll cover to bake.