Lasagna for Two

in Dinner

Lasagna for Two // www.acozykitchen.com

So, usually in, oh I dunno mid-January, is when everything on Pinterest begins to be heart-shaped and red. Pancakes, jell-o, cookies, meringues, you name it. And every single time, my internal knee-jerk reaction is to whisper:

“DIE DIE DIE DIE”

I can’t help it. I’m just not a huge fan of Valentine’s day, but over the years I’ve realized it doesn’t have to be a lame holiday. There are tons of ways to have a perfectly enjoyable Valentine’s Day without it being dumb and annoying.

Lasagna for Two // www.acozykitchen.com

First step: Don’t buy champagne (grocery stores usually mark it up during V-Day anyway). Drink a pét-nat instead. Or beer. I love beer.

Third step: If you’re going to buy the cheesy candy from the drug store, buy it the day after when it’s 50% off. Duh.

Lasagna for Two // www.acozykitchen.com

And lastly, fourth step: STAY HOME. Cook dinner for you and your man/girl or friends. Restaurants where prix fixe menus exist and they put heart-shaped confetti on the tables makes me want to vom.

A few months ago, Josh and I were craving lasagna. We wanted layers and layers of cheese and bolognese and carbs. But what we didn’t want was a bunch of leftovers so when I was going through my baking dishes to decide which one we should and use none of them worked (all of my small ones are round), I noticed my loaf pan just whispering my name, dying to be put in the game.

Lasagna for Two // www.acozykitchen.com

The clouds parted in the sky! AHHHH!! It’s the perfect size for lasagna sheets (though they do need to be put side-by-side and overlapped by a bit).

We started a homemade bolognese, put it on low and allowed it to simmer for an hour while we went on a hike with Amelia. When we came home, we opened a bottle of wine, layered that bitch and put it in the oven. It was a glorious dinner for two.

We couldn’t eat the entire loaf pan but the leftovers were manageable (I’d say we ate a bit more than half), which meant the next day we had just enough for lunch. Dinner perfection.

Lasagna for Two // www.acozykitchen.com

Lasagna for Two

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 1 (8x5-inch) loaf pan of lasagna

Serving Size: 2 (with leftovers)

Lasagna for Two

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • Salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning*
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 pound lean (90%/10%) ground beef
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 pound dried lasagna pasta
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella

Directions

  1. In a dutch oven or medium pot, set over medium heat, heat the olive oil. When hot, add the shallots, diced carrot and a pinch of salt; cook until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Next, mix in the garlic cloves, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper; cook for an additional minute, until very fragrant. Add the ground beef and break it up with a spoon into crumbles. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, mixing occasionally, until browned.
  2. Pour in the crushed tomatoes. Add about 3/4 cup water (you can eyeball this measurement) to the empty tomato can and swish it around, picking up any leftover tomatoes from the side of the can, and pour it in the pot. Next, stir in the tomato paste. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then immediately turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot and allow the sauce to simmer and merry for 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Uncover the pot, give it a taste test, and adjust the salt according to your liking. Allow the sauce to simmer for an additional 10 minutes, uncovered.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sheets of lasagna and cook according to the packages directions, usually this is around 8 to 9 minutes. Drain and toss with a teaspoon of olive oil so the pasta sheets don’t stick.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. To assemble the lasagna, grab your 8 x 5-inch loaf pan. Place two sheets of lasagna pasta on the bottom of the loaf pan, overlapping them slightly. Spread around a thin layer of bolognese, top with a few dots of ricotta and a handful of mozzarella. Repeat the layering process until you’ve reached the top. The top layer should be pasta, a bit of sauce and a good amount of mozzarella cheese.
  6. Transfer to the oven to bake for 15 to 20 minutes. To get the top layer of cheese all burnt and bubbly, turn on the broiler. Place the lasagna underneath the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, watching it the entire time. Allow to stand for a few minutes before slicing (it’ll be crazy hot!). Top with some Parmesan, if you like, and some fresh basil.
http://acozykitchen.com/lasagna-for-two/

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda @themoonblushbaker February 9, 2015 at 12:44 am

I fully support your step 3! I hate spending more than necessary on candy ( esp. if it is not chocolate)

I think breakfast in bed with homemade breads or a loving dinner with delicious lasagna is all you need for the 14th. Thank you for sizing it down too!

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Minna February 9, 2015 at 1:20 am

Hahaha! This made me laugh “DIEDIEDIEDIE.” The loaf pan is a brilliant idea for lasagna! Thanks so much for sharing- hope your holiday is filled with this yummy lasagna, half-priced candy and rebellion against Hallmark 😉

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Adrianna Adarme February 9, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Thanks Minna! xo

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Tori@Gringalicious.com February 9, 2015 at 4:23 am

Totally with you on Valentine’s day. It can be so annoying. I love your guide to having the perfect one though. This lasagna looks delicious!

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Steph February 9, 2015 at 5:51 am

I 100% agree with you on what makes the best valentine’s day and love this recipe! I never thought to make lasagna in a loaf pan before. xoxoxo

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Linda Crawford February 9, 2015 at 6:19 am

I don’t hate Val’s Day. What’s so bad about expressing your affection? But I, too, have been extolling the virtues of the loaf pan lately. There are several different sizes available and I think I have at least three different ones. (Don’t judge – I worked at Michael’s.) You can make different kinds of breads using the frozen balls of dough, such as Cinnamon-Pecan Bread, Garlic Bread, Cheesy Bread, but bake them in a loaf pan instead of a Bundt pan and you have fewer leftovers. When your children leave home and there’s just the two of you it’s difficult to make good eats, like lasagna, without having leftovers for days and days. Thanks for this idea!

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Johanna February 9, 2015 at 7:09 am

What a great idea!!! And even more so when you’re from Germany, because here we don’t pre-cook Lasagna sheets. Which is good on the one hand, because one step less, but on the other makes it hard to arrange them in the pan. They musn’t overlap (or they won’t cook) and they never ever fit the size of the pan :) So while one is trying to cut the dry noodles they happily crack and go flying through the whole kitchen. In the end it never matters because the result tastes just fine, but it still makes me crazy :) So FOR SURE I will try using a loaf pan. Thinking about it’s format it might just work perfectly!

And PS: I’m almost sure there is no difference between German and US Lasagna sheets, so I’m sure you could do yours without precooking and I could do mine with.. So where the hell does this “cultural difference” come from???

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Adrianna Adarme February 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm

That’s so interesting re: the lasagna sheets in Germany. Here we do have no-boil lasagna sheets but I never tend to use them. I find that I prefer being able to boil them. Does the label so “no-boil”?

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Johanna February 10, 2015 at 2:53 am

Yes, it explicitly says “no boil”. I will have to ask my husband to bring a package of lasagna noodles from the USA so we can compare ingredients.
I believe they’ll turn out exactly the same, with only difference being the cooking time for the assembled lasagna. Ours needs a rather runny sauce so the pasta can soak it up, and it also takes a good while in the oven (at least 40 minutes).

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Catherine February 9, 2015 at 7:34 am

Oh my gosh! You read my heart and mind. I live alone and I am single so making a big lasagna is a daunting thing. Yet I kept thinking it would go well in a loaf pan (great minds think alike). I just wasn’t sure ratios and now I totally have a recipe for a single person’s decadence. This will be so manageable and MUCH better than the sad freezer lasagna I settled for not too long ago.

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Adrianna Adarme February 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Girl, then this recipe is for you! You’ll have just the right amount of leftovers!

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Abbie February 9, 2015 at 8:42 am

LASAGNA IN A LOAF PAN!!!! YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!! Also post V-Day candy applies to ALL holiday candy! Christmas/halloween/easter – the day OF is usually the best pickins. Don’t ask me how I know that about Christmas, I know I should have better things to do 😉

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Allison February 9, 2015 at 9:32 am

This is so smart to make a smaller lasagna! Though lasagna freezes so well I still make a pan that could serve about 16 people and freeze all the leftovers. It’s great for easy lunches and dinners during the week.

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Emily @ Life on Food February 9, 2015 at 9:42 am

I love these mini lasagnas. We never go out for Valentine’s Day. We had two horrible experiences and have been staying home ever since. Now it is tradition and we have the best time.

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Megan | Hint of Vanilla February 9, 2015 at 10:05 am

I’m not a Valentines Day lover, either. I used to be a waitress so V-day just meant a really busy and annoying night at work. Now that I work in a patisserie, it means 3 weeks of 12 hour days in order to prep hundreds of heart shaped cakes and cookies and crap. Not that I’m bitter or anything!! I haven’t been able to spend an actual Valentines day with my boyfriend, ever. It’s usually a few days before or after, or not at all. So when everyone is getting excited over V-Day, I just kind of grumble in the corner…

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Adrianna Adarme February 9, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Yes, I understand this completely. I used to work in a restaurant too and Valentine’s day was the absolute worst. And I wouldn’t make nearly as much money vs. a regular night bc it was all couples just sitting there for hours on end. Hahha.

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Meredith February 9, 2015 at 11:36 am

Valentine’s day is ok…? but I def feel the barf factor when people are taking it super seriously. Especially one’s single pals. I mean- we just went through the whole riggamarole of holiday madness! People need a break already. So I look forward to it being over. March through October- favorite time o’ year. Ain’t no one on sugar stress putting mondo expectations on others.

That’s my beef. And yes, LOAF IT. Tell someone you LOAF them. hawhaw haw

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Adrianna Adarme February 9, 2015 at 12:06 pm

I understand this!

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joelle (on a pink typewriter) February 9, 2015 at 11:55 am

This looks delicious (and WAY more manageable than my traditional Italian family’s recipe for a giant tray of lasagna). Can you use the “oven ready” (aka no boiling needed) pasta for this?

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Adrianna Adarme February 9, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Yes you totally can, but I’ve used those in the past and I believe they need a longer baking time than what I suggested, so just follow they’re directions and tent the lasagna with foil if needed! x

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Maggie February 9, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Quick question- this looks amazing and likely just replaced my vday dinner plans.. Is that garlic going in to the pan in as a whole cloves or chopped/minced?

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Adrianna Adarme February 9, 2015 at 2:32 pm

LAWD! They’re supposed to be minced. Fixed now!

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Sheila February 9, 2015 at 4:10 pm

This lasagna recipe came at the perfect time. Just took a job as a personal chef to a couple w/ a preference for no leftovers. They love Italian and this is fabulous. I spent all day with my cookbooks but this is better. Post more corgi pictures, please!

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Adrianna Adarme February 9, 2015 at 5:50 pm

I’m not a big leftovers person either so I understand this. Hope they like it. And I promise I’ll post more Amelia photos! Haha.

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Elyse February 9, 2015 at 5:43 pm

just discovered your blog! I totally agree with the valentines blah. Dinner at home with a nice bottle of red is all I ever want! Plus this year I have convinced the husband to do the cooking and I will sort the cocktails, not a heart shaped piece of confetti in sight! Perfect!

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Adrianna Adarme February 9, 2015 at 5:47 pm

Haha. LOVE! Welcome, so glad you’re here. xo

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Christy@SweetandSavoring February 9, 2015 at 8:11 pm

I am so with you on the heart-shaped crap! Just…ugh. And I’m pretty tired of all the Valentine’s gift guides going around the blogs lately, to be honest. It’s just a cliche at this point. I work on Saturday so I have no idea what we’ll do afterward. Maybe institute a no-devices policy and play some board games, haha.
Oh, and of course the lasagna looks amazing. Great idea to put it in the loaf pan!

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Adrianna Adarme February 9, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Dude, I love the no-devices policy! Sounds like such a good idea!

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Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie February 10, 2015 at 6:36 am

This looks so much better than the lasagna for two I’ve made before. I’ll def have to remember this next time I need a smaller portion!

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abby - little city adventures February 10, 2015 at 2:20 pm

This is genius!!

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Beauty Follower February 11, 2015 at 12:22 pm
Sierra February 11, 2015 at 2:02 pm

I’m sorry if I missed it, but what temperature do you bake at?

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Adrianna Adarme February 11, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Ahh! Sorry about that. It’s in now! 350 degrees F.

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Lee February 11, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Omg I just want some lasagna right now!!! I’m planning to make this with my mom eventually since we love lasagna 😉

Lee
http://Www.lastnightwithlee.blogspot.com

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bev @ bevcooks February 11, 2015 at 5:23 pm

“layered that bitch and put it in the oven.” Aaaaaaaand this is why I love you.

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Adrianna Adarme February 11, 2015 at 5:27 pm

Hahah! This is how I speak in normal life. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Amy Basso February 13, 2015 at 2:02 pm

How ingenious! Perfect for my husband and I! Casseroles are always waaaaay too huge for the two of us! Love the idea of cooking it in a loaf pan.

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home_audio April 17, 2015 at 4:43 am

I love lasagna but unfortunately I can’t make it looks good when put it on the dish. It always looks smash and I’m so unhappy. But in the end it doesn’t matter how it looks, most important is how it taste 😀

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Mikaela November 30, 2015 at 1:08 am

Me and my partner LOVE lasagna! but unfortunately he is not a massive fan of red peppers? Will it effect the recipe if I take it out??

THANKS

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Adrianna Adarme November 30, 2015 at 8:34 am

Oh yes, leave it out! It won’t affect it very much at all!

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Allison Linnell January 25, 2016 at 4:37 pm

By ” Add about 3/4 cup (you can eyeball this measurement) to the empty tomato can and swish it around, picking up any leftover tomatoes from the side of the can, and pour it in the pot.” I assume you mean WATER?

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Adrianna Adarme January 25, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Yes, sorry! Just changed it.

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