Best Ever Lasagna

Best Ever Lasagna

Katie is getting ready to go back to school this week.  Back to big girl’s school where she’ll have her own apartment (that she shares with three other girls) and she’ll get to do her own cooking and stay up late and do things that she won’t write about on her blogs because she knows I read them.  Not bad things, of course, just stuff.

Anyway, last night she made a request for her last-dinner-at-home-before-she-goes-back-to-school dinner.  At the time, I didn’t know that her plans were to stay at home another night.  I was 90% done with her special lasagna dinner when Honey Buns asked her what she wanted for her last-dinner-at-home-before-she-goes-back-to-school dinner for tonight (Tuesday).  What?  Two last dinners?  Nobody gets two last dinners; especially someone who lays on the couch snickering about the fact that they suckered their feeble old mother into believing that Monday night was their last night at home instead of Tuesday night.  The shame of it all.  And just to think, I gave up my last good knee carrying a heavy box up three flights of stairs only to fall flat, landing on said last good knee as I tripped over the high lip at the doorway entrance to said ingrate’s new apartment.  That’s okay, I got even.  All the plates in the box broke; shattered to smithereens.  Wait, that’s not so even…Now I have to replace them.  Dang. 

Well, I’m a mom, so I forgive easily.  I may not forget. Ever. But I do forgive.

The lasagna that I made last night was among the finest that I have ever made.  It was incredibly rich with flavor.  I’ll give you the low down on it right now.  You can fiddle with the ingredients if you want to, but don’t blame me if things don’t turn out right.  Disclaimer:  this is not diet lasagna.  If you are going to make this lasagna and eat it, you need to understand that the rest of the week needs to be spent in fasting and thanksgiving.

Lasagna

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds sausage (can use Italian style)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) small diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, depending on if you like any heat with your lasagna)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (24 ounce) carton cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 box lasagna noodles (you’ll only need 9 noodles out of the box)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425-degrees. Start boiling the water to cook the lasagna noodles.
  2. Brown sausage in a large skillet. Just as the sausage is losing its pink color, add the onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if you are using these). Cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Stir occasionally so that things won’t stick and burn.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon dried parsley, oregano, basil, onion powder, and garlic powder. Give things a stir to mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. (I just sprinkled a little black pepper and added about ½ teaspoon salt.) Bring to a simmer and cook covered over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. When the noodles are done, drain in a strainer and then give them a rinse in cool water. Drain again and set aside.
  5. Mix the cottage cheese, eggs, and 2 teaspoons dried parsley together in a bowl. Set aside.
  6. Assembly
  7. In a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or dish, put a little sauce (about 1 cup or a little more) in the bottom of the dish. Place three lasagna noodles side by side down the length of the dish. Spoon a third of the cottage cheese mixture down the noodles. Now put a little less than 1/3 of the sauce on top of the cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle with some of the mozzarella cheese.
  8. Repeat twice more layering with the noodles, cottage cheese mixture, sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Reserve some sauce to add to the top of the lasagna.
  9. After the last layer of mozzarella has been added, top with the remaining sauce. Place on a foil-lined shallow baking pan to catch any juices that might try to escape during the baking process. Bake in a 425-degree preheated oven for 45 minutes-1 hour. I usually bake my lasagna closer to 1 hour, but every oven cooks differently and every baking dish cooks a little differently. It’s better to over-cook this than to under-cook it because if it is undercooked it will be really runny, but of course the ideal is the mama bear stage (just right).
  10. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting for serving. The resting allows time for the lasagna to set.
  11. Serve with steamed broccoli, or roasted summer squash, or a tossed salad, and some garlic bread.
http://tsgcookin.com/2010/08/lasagna/

 

Best Ever LasagnaSpread a small amount of sauce around in the bottom of the baking dish.
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Best Ever Lasagna
Layer three lasagna noodles side by side on top of the sauce.
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Best Ever Lasagna
Spoon some of the cottage cheese mixture down each noodle.
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Best Ever Lasagna
Now add a layer of the sauce.  Just kind of scatter it around.
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Best Ever Lasagna
Sprinkle some of the mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce.  Repeat the noodle, cottage cheese, sauce, cheese layers 2 more times.  You’ll have a total of 3 noodle-cottage cheese-sauce-mozzarella layers.
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Best Ever LasagnaAfter the third layer, spoon the remaining sauce on top of the mozzarella.  You remembered to save a little sauce for the top, right?
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Best Ever Lasagna
Place the baking dish on a foil lined shallow baking pan.  The lasagna may get a little messy as it cooks; bubble right over the edge or something.  So, the baking pan will catch the exuberance instead of the bottom of your oven having all the fun of sizzling the sauce into smokey cinders.  Bake for about 45 minutes-1 hour.  Allow to cool and set for about 10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.
I really wanted to show you the finished product in the baking pan, but the truth is this:  I got distracted with editing some photos from Emily’s bridal shower (I took over 200 of them–good grief!) and the lasagna didn’t look so pretty when I took it out of the oven.  It would have required more editing than I was willing to do sooo…I’ll just leave you with an image of she for whom this lasagna was made.

Comments

  1. says

    Teri, dear Teri! I just made & ate your lasagna & it is now my new favorite lasagna. We loved it! Thanks for taking the time to write this up–one question though, how in the world did you keep things clean enough to take such great photos–I had ingredients scattered all over the place as I was assembling my layers–okay it didn’t help that my grated mozzarella was frozen & I had to break it apart with a meat pounder. Yeppers, that was a bit messy! You’re the best cook EVER!

  2. says

    Annie, dear Annie! Guess what! My kitchen was a complete and utter disaster and I am talking major, serious disaster. The thing about photography is that you only let the things in the pictures that you want to have there.

    And as for your frozen mozzarella, mine was frozen, too! I forgot to take it out of the freezer until I needed it.

  3. says

    Yes! Knew I’d find a winning lasagna recipe in your hearty homely recipe collection. I’ve made a few before and am just itchin’ to give this one a try. I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

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