On cold winter days sometimes a good meal of comfort food sounds good, even if it’s not as healthy as we normally eat. We were sitting inside during a snow storm tying to plan dinner. My husband suggested lasagna but I didn’t want just regular lasagna. So I sat and thought about how I could amp up my lasagna game. In the past I have made pesto lasagna, veggie lasagna and traditional lasagna. I was thinking of how I could make it different and decided to make lasagna with vodka sauce to switch it up. Since I can’t DRINK vodka these days might as well eat it right?
Vodka sauce is super easy to make. Also the beauty of a simple sauce is it doesn’t have to cook all day like a standard ragu sauce. It can be made easily in under thirty minutes. But the key to making a quick sauce is to use good ingredients. It’s the dead of winter so fresh tomatoes are not available. So instead I always splurge on canned organic San Marzano tomatoes or something good imported from Italy. Since the cook time on this is so quick you want to maximize the flavor of the sauce by using quality ingredients.
Whenever I make a stuffed pasta like lasagna or stuffed shells I always use cottage cheese instead of ricotta. My mom always did this when we were little. However, sometimes I find that the cottage cheese can make the pasta runny. I saw a recipe the other day though that put the cottage cheese in a food processor which blended it together to make it less runny. I tried this and added all my cheeses with a few handfuls of spinach. It really did make a huge difference in the lasagna. The cheese mixture was thicker and not as messy when it came out of the oven.
Sometimes mixing up a classic recipe can turn into a new favorite. While the cook time on this lasagna with vodka sauce seems long, the prep is not too bad. Most of the time is spent cooking the pasta in the oven and letting the cheese melt and the sauce become bubbly. This lasagna with vodka sauce recipe is perfect for a cold snowy day when you want to eat some extra calories.