This week is Americorps Week so I wanted to share a recipe for a dish that makes me think of of my AmeriCorps days. Good lasagna is divine. I love to eat Valentino’s lasagna when I go home to Nebraska. It’s makes me think of my AmeriCorps days. Valentino’s has this great to-go lunch. You can get about 15 different combinations of pizza, pasta dishes, salads, and breadsticks. They always had a line but it moved very quickly. The location on the corner of 17th & South was super close to our AmeriCorps office and my home. On Fridays, we always had our AmeriCorps staff meeting from Noon-3PM. It was the one time our entire staff was together in the office so we could plan our after school, summer, or community outreach activities. Then, we would head over to our after school program.
It was also a very long day for me. I usually headed straight to my hotel job after finishing Kids Club. That meant I wouldn’t get home until 11:30PM. We didn’t take meal breaks at that hotel so I often wouldn’t be able to eat dinner til I got home from work. Valentino’s single serve lasagna and dessert breadstick was probably my favorite meal on the to-go menu. I think part of the reason was because I didn’t get hungry during my second job.
I also liked eating at Valentino’s because of personal connections to the restaurant. One of my fellow AmeriCorps member’s father-in-law was a part owner of the restaurant chain. I also remember my cousin Jeanna getting her first job in high school at Valentino’s. She would work for another Valentino’s location during her college days.
Although I enjoy a good piece of lasagna, I have never really loved any of the homemade recipes I prepared myself until I found this one. It isn’t your traditional lasagna as it doesn’t have any layered noodles. I first discovered this recipe through a friend’s Facebook recipe sharing group. I shared this recipe with my friend and co-worker Denise (a fellow AmeriCorps Alum pictured w/ me above) who is vegetarian. She and her husband substituted veggie meat and added mushrooms. They also loved this lasagna with a twist dish.
Crescent Twist-Around Lasagna
1 & 1/2 lb. of ground beef (or 1 lb beef and 1/2 lb. sausage)
1/3 c. onion, chopped
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 small can of tomato paste (6 oz.)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 c. Ricotta cheese
1/2 c. Mozzarella cheese
2 tsp. parsley
1 package of crescent rolls
Brown beef and onions til cooked. Drain and add spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, and seasoning. Pour into 13 x 9 baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta and mozzerella cheeses with parsley. Open can of crescent rolls and make four rectangles. Spread with cheese mix. Roll jelly roll style and cut each into four pieces. Place on spaghetti mix. Sprinkle dish with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.