Statistics tell us that when it comes to what’s really cooking in the kitchen, most of us have 10 to 15 recipes in our repertoire and rotate them ad nauseum. According to those same statisticians, the average time spent preparing and cooking dinner is 30 minutes or less.

What’s needed are some short-order supper survival recipes with few ingredients and minimal time and effort. Here’s one of my supper survival recipes.

Ever So Easy Lasagna
No need to cook the noodles. If you keep jars of pesto, sauce, tomatoes and noodles in the pantry and grated cheese in the freezer, the only thing to pick up is ricotta cheese. Serve with a vegetable sidedish or salad and crusty bread. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


• 1 - 19 oz (540 mL) can stewed or pasta tomatoes
• 1 cup (250 mL) pasta or spaghetti sauce
• 6 uncooked lasagna noodles
• 1 - 500 g container ricotta cheese
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) pesto
• 1 cup (250 mL) shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Combine tomatoes and sauce; spread one-third of mixture in 11 x 7 x 2 inch (2 L) glass microwaveable dish. Arrange three noodles over the sauce. Combine ricotta cheese and pesto; spread noodles with half the ricotta mixture. Top with another third of sauce.

Repeat with remaining three noodles, remaining ricotta mixture and sauce.

Cover with microwave plastic wrap, turning back one edge to vent. Microwave at high 10 minutes, rotate dish, and reduce to medium (50 per cent) and cook for 10 minutes or until noodles are tender when pierced with a knife.

Sprinkle with cheeses, recover and let stand 10 minutes (this helps the noodles absorb liquid.)

Barb Holland is a professional home economist and food writer who believes in shopping locally and in season.

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