My family loves lasagna but it isn't often that I have all of the necessary ingredients all together at one time. Lasagna noodles are hard to find on sale, so I've never had the chance to really stockpile them. Once in a while I find ricotta cheese on sale and when I do, I buy several and freeze them. For me, it is usually better/easier/cheaper to make some form of Pasta Lasagna to get my baked pasta and ricotta cheese fix.
This week, ricotta cheese is 2.99 at Stop and Shop- which isn't a fantastic price exactly, but with .99 pasta sauce (Francesco Rinaldi- I like their "Sweet and Tasty Tomato" sauce) and .75 pasta (Prince pasta, all varieties- except baking and flavored) it can make an affordable meal. You can stretch the ricotta using my grated zucchini method that I alluded to here, and that would make the cost per meal a little cheaper. This recipe calls for meat and some additional cheese- I wouldn't make a special trip to buy additional ingredients but use whatever cheese and meat I might happen to have around the house- another reason why lasagna dishes tend to be pricey is because people end up buying 3 different kinds of cheese and different meats and everything else. Just baking some pasta with layers of sauce and ricotta, with maybe a little bit of grated parmesan sprinkled on top, is going to be very tasty with a nice little salad or side of vegetables.
And I'm glad we're getting into cooler weather again, because I don't need to feel bad about making "comfort food" all the time. This is the season for it!