Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Best Lasagna. Ever.

I found this recipe on the Pioneer Woman's website. She calls it The Best Lasagna. Ever. The title alone made a believer outta me. I think that Lasagna is a lot of work to make. Now, I love to cook, but I don't want to take on Lasagna unless I know the payoff is going to be worth it. This one is worth it!

Lasagna noodles, about 8
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage, hot
1.5 lbs ground beef
2-14.5 oz cans whole tomatoes
2-6 oz cans tomato paste
2 Tbsp Parsley (meat), 2 Tbsp Parsley (cheese)
2 Tbsp Basil
1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp salt (water), 1 tsp salt (cheese)
1 Tbsp olive oil
24 oz cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
2-8oz packages Mozzarella cheese slices


Put the pork sausage, ground beef and garlic in a large skillet. Cook the meat and drain off the grease. Add the tomato paste, whole tomatoes with juice, 2 Tbsp Parsley, 2 Tbsp Basil* and 1 tsp of salt. Mix well and simmer for 45 minutes.

*I used fresh basil instead of dried because I have it (for the Mediterranean Salad I made Sunday). I just rolled six leaves tightly and sliced it thinly. Then I sliced it a few long ways for good measure.


While meat is simmering, bring a large pot of water, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp of olive oil to boil. Add the noodles, two or three at a time until pot is full. Boil the noodles for about ten minutes. After draining the noodles and rinsing with cold water, lay out the noodles on a cookie sheet. (for easier handling later)


Combine cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, 2 Tbsp Parley, 1 tsp salt. Mix well.

After the meat, cheese, and noodles are ready, make an assembly line on your kitchen counter. Lay four noodles on the bottom of your 9X13 casserole dish, overlapping as you go. I'm using a pretty Polish Pottery Dish that Roger bought me for Mother's Day one year. Spread 1/2 the cheese mixture across the noodles. Lay down 1/2 of the Mozzarella cheese slices. If they are sliced really thinly, go ahead a double up the layer. Repeat with the other half of your noodles, cheese, Mozzarella, and meat. Now generously sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the top of your Lasagna.

Now bake the Lasagna at 350 degrees F for about 60 minutes. Or, if you are like me and made this Lasagna in the morning so you'd free up the afternoon to fight a child that doesn't like to do her homework, cover the Lasagna with plastic and put it in the fridge for later. It can refrigerate, unbaked, for about two days.

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