Italian chicken lasagne
It’s been forever and a day since I last posted. I’m in the middle of trying to sell my flat and there has been much back and forth between estate agents, solicitors and panicked phone calls to my mum. I won’t lie, it’s been a fairly horrible experience and unfortunately, I can’t see any real resolution any time soon.
Cooking nice meals these past few weeks have become a bit of a weekend luxury. My week day dinners have more or less, due to time constraints, become things on toast. Big shout out to my old friends scrambled egg and Mr Heinz Baked Bean. Always a pleasure to do business with.
I thought I better get my finger out and get you guys an updated post before you abandon me for good. This was one of the few meals I cooked last week that didn’t take all of ten seconds to whip up. Saying that, it’s still pretty easy and doesn’t take very long at all. I liked it, the boy said he prefers it to my beef lasagne and it kept us going in work lunches for a couple of days, so thumbs up all round.
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
4-5 large chicken breasts, diced into smallish cubes
Dried lasagne sheets (use enough to create 2 layers in your baking dish – I needed 8)
2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
Handful fresh basil, chopped
750ml shop bought jar Marinara or Bolognese sauce
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 200˚C. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and once hot, add the diced chicken breast. Use a wooden spoon to stir the chicken around until it starts to brown all over. At this point add in the minced garlic, dried basil and chilli flakes. Cook for another minute or two. Add in the jar of sauce and stir it around to coat the chicken. Turn your heat down to low and let simmer for 5 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, add the ricotta cheese to a large mixing bowl and crack in the eggs and some salt and pepper. Stir everything together and set aside.
After 5 minutes, remove the chicken from the heat and stir in the fresh shredded basil. To assemble your lasagne, first place 1/3 of the chicken mixture into the bottom of a large oven-proof casserole dish, top with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture then sprinkle over a small handful each of the mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Top with the first layer of dried pasta sheets. Add the next 1/3 or the chicken mixture, then again top with 1/3 ricotta mixture and another sprinkling of mozzarella and parmesan before adding the next layer of pasta sheets. For the final layer, add the last of the chicken, followed by the remaining ricotta then finally some more mozzarella and parmesan.
Pop in your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the cheese is all lovely and bubbling. Serve up with a little more shredded basil, a simple side salad and copious amounts of wine. This lasagne also freezes brilliantly (just defrost and reheat in the oven when needed).
Serves 6-8 depending on how famished you are.