Tuesday, February 23, 2010

30 Things to Make Before I Turn 30: Lasagna

I've always wanted to make Lasagna but never had, which is why it is on my 30 Things to Make Before I Turn 30 List. I was afraid Lasagna was time consuming and difficult so I browsed recipes carefully. I settled on a super easy and quick lasagna recipe on The Pioneer Woman. It only takes an hour, perfect for week nights when I don't have a ton of time to spend slaving away in the kitchen. This recipe calls for very few ingredients, most of which you probably have in your pantry already. I found during this cooking adventure that lasagna is super fun to assemble! I even got the hubby involved in the layering of the meat, cheese, and noodles. The the best part is that this lasagna tastes awesome!! The hot ground breakfast sausage gives it just a little kick and all the mozzarella  makes this super cheesy. This lasagna recipe is a keeper! Writing this blog just a week after the fact makes me hungry for it again!
The Best Lasagna Ever
from The Pioneer Woman

1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 pound Hot Breakfast sausage
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans (14.5 ounces) Whole Tomatoes
2 cans (6 ounces) Tomato Paste
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups lowfat cottage cheese ( I had ricotta on hand so used 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese & 1 1/2 cups ricotta)
2 whole beaten eggs
1/2 cups grated or shredded parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound sliced Mozzarella Cheese (I used less than this)
1 package (10 ounces) Lasagna noodles
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add in noodles. *Pioneer Woman recommends adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pasta water - I didn't do this but I'm guessing it's to help with flavor and ensure the noodles don't stick together as they boil.) Cook lasagna noodles until "al dente". 

Meanwhile in a large skillet or saucepan, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain half the fat; less if you're feeling naughty. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons parsley, basil, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl mix cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more tablespoons parsley, and 1 more teaspoon salt. Stir together well. Set aside.

To assemble:
Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of a baking pan, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly. Cover cottage cheese layer with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat mixture over the top. Repeat, ending with meat mixture. Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees until top is hot and bubbly. Can also freeze or refrigerate for up to 2 days. 

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