Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Every time I share a recipe, I feel like a fraud. I’m a work-at-home mom who’s never fully caught on to the whole “domestic bliss” thing. Give me a manuscript to edit, and I’m in literary Heaven. Put me in the kitchen, and I start to twitch with anxiety, wondering how I’ll mess things up this time.

Forget to put flour in the cookie dough again?

Accidentally broil things instead of baking them?

Get caught up reading a book instead of stirring a pot of bubbling sauce and have the culinary equivalent of Pompeii destroy my stovetop?

Constant disasters have taught me that cooking simply is the best (and safest) course for people like me. Most of our meals consist of two step recipes like my Pesto Chicken [Step One: Put Pesto on Chicken. Step Two: Bake.] or my Butter Chicken [Step Once: Pour Butter Chicken Sauce on Chicken. Step Two: Bake.] But there’s one multi-ingredient, multi-step dish I can make and make REALLY well (the title gave it away, didn’t it?).

Ingredient quantities vary according to taste, of course (my family loves a nice thick Ricotta layer, for instance, so I use 3 containers). Odds are, if you combine these ingredients, you'll get something edible, and possibly quite tasty!

Sauce Ingredients:

2 22oz cans of Hunts Four Cheese Pasta sauce
1 small jar of sun-dried tomato pesto (if you like chunkier sauce, a jar of bruschetta can be a nice addition too)
1 12oz package of mild Italian sausage

^^^Brown and drain the sausage. Mix it with the sauce and pesto. You can heat this mixture or leave it cold. Heating it makes the lasagna cook a bit faster, and gives the sauce a slightly richer flavour, but if you're in a rush, cold totally works too.

Filling Ingredients:

2-3 14oz container of Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg per container of Ricotta
A few dashes of Salt & Pepper
1-2 heaping tablespoons of Basil Pesto
1-2 handfuls of Shredded Mozzarella (the Kraft Italiano mix is nice)

^^^Combine with fork. Ideally, the mixture should be thick.

Layer in 9x13 pan:


Noodles (I use store-bought lasagna sheets - no pre-cooking required!)
Ricotta mixture
A handful of shredded Mozzarella
A sprinkle or two of Parmesan
A layer of sauce (not too thin or the noodles don't cook well, not too thick or the lasagna gets soupy - have fun figuring THAT puzzle out)

Lather rinse repeat*, etc . . .

Cover with foil. May be kept in refrigerator for a day or so prior to cooking. If cooking from chilled, add extra bake time. If cooking right after making, bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, remove foil, then cook till cheese melts/edges bubble.

*Do not actually lather and rinse your lasagna. It will taste gross.

Bon appetit!

Kimberly Vanderhorst is a speculative fiction author who cherishes a love for all things strange and beautiful. Claims to fame include running Prism Editing, serving on the committees for the annual LDStorymakers Conference and The Whitney Awards program, and co-hosting the annual Pitch Slam contest. Despite being a city girl with a tendency to cuss too much, Kimberly is married to an LDS minister and lives in rural northern Canada. There, she helps raise her four lovely daughters while pretending not to be afraid of the neighbour’s chickens.


  1. As a person who enjoys cooking, this makes me laugh. Your lasagna sounds good. I have only ever made it once in my life. Might try this one day.

    1. Pesto and a good Italian sausage make all the difference in the world! Enjoy! <3

  2. I love lasagna. For a healthier version, I exchange the cheese sauce for low fat creme fraiche. Tastes divine and not so 'stodgy' as the full on kind. :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. I don't cook my noodles either! Makes the lasagna prep so much easier!

    1. I'm really surprised the pre-boil kind even exist anymore. ;)


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