Thursday, January 10, 2013

Good Lasagna

Growing up my mom had a recipe for "Good Spaghetti". I remember thinking it was a ridiculous name for a recipe. Of course it was "good" or else it wouldn't be in her recipe box. Well, here I am trying to come up with a catchy name for my lasagna and "Good Lasagna" is the best way I can describe it. I make this meal for company since it can all be put together before hand; I make it for friends who just had a baby since it can be put in the freezer for a couple of months; and I make it just for us when I want good leftovers, because after all this lasagna is just so good! The secret to lasagna success is using good sauce (no tomato puree in the jar) and good cheese (I use whole milk mozzarella).  I do use a prepared sauce but add diced tomatoes to it so it tastes homemade. Enjoy.

Good Lasagna

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 jar (approx 2 cups) good prepared marinara sauce (I use Barilla Tomato & Sweet Basil)
1 - 14 oz can diced tomatoes
3 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 c cottage cheese
1 1/2 c Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 c monterey jack or provolone, shredded
1 1/2 Tbls Italian seasoning or Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle
10-12 lasagna noodles

In a large saute pan, brown ground beef and drain. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper to the pan and cook 3-5 minutes. Add beef back to the pan and add tomato sauce and tomatoes. Simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large stock pot filled with water boil pasta for 6 minutes or until al dente. In a medium size bowl, mix cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. In a separate bowl, combine mozzarella and monterey/provolone cheese.
Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam. Layer half of the pasta on the bottom of the pan - half of the beef mixture - half of the cottage cheese - half of the mozzarella blend. Layer in the same order again. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Let sit 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

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