I first posted this almost a year ago when this blog was still spanking new. I think I had only 5 followers at the time…and you are still very much appreciated as are all of you that have joined me along the way. I wanted to revise this a bit, because to be honest, it never hurts to revamp now and then and I really wanted to give this some love. I mean, it’s Lasagna…. one of the ultimate comfort foods.
This has always been one of my go to meals. It’s what I get requested frequently when I have people over for dinner. This is pretty easy and what’s not to love with layers of hearty pasta, a meaty sauce and all that cheesy goodness. Throw in some nice crusty garlic bread, a salad on the side and you have a great meal.
Here’s what you need:
For the Meat Sauce:
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 small can tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2TBs olive oil
1 1/2 ground beef
1Tbs. dried basil and more to taste
1 Tbs. dried Thyme and more to taste
2 tsp. dried oregano and more to taste
2 tsp. paprika and more to taste
2 tsp. onion powder and more to taste
2 tsp, garlic powder and more to taste
2 tsp. chili powder and more to taste
1 tsp salt and more to taste
1 tsp. sugar
1 bay leaf
Or use my Shortcut Meat Sauce , truth be told I use this frequently
For the Lasagna:
1 box of oven ready Lasagna noodles
1 large container of cottage cheese
2 tsp. dried basil or more to taste
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese plus 1/2 C. reserved
3 C. Shredded cheese; I use a Mozzarella, Colby jack and cheddar cheese blend
I start out by making a meat sauce. You can make this the day before. Don’t want to make a meat sauce from scratch? No problem. Just make a Shortcut Meat Sauce.
To make the homemade sauce,
In a large sauce pan add about 2 to 3 Tbs of olive oil. Heat to medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes or until onions become tender. Remove onions and garlic; set aside. In same pot, add beef and cook over medium high heat until meat is brown. Drain if needed.
Add onions and garlic back to the pot. Sprinkle in basil, Thyme, oregano, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, 1/2 can tomato paste and salt. Stir well with beef mixture and cook about 1 minute more.
Pour in the crushed tomatoes and add sugar; mix to combine. If sauce is too thick, add a little water. Taste and add any more spices or salt if you prefer. Add in bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove bay leaf.
Grab the cottage cheese and place in a bowl. I prefer cottage cheese in my lasagna rather than ricotta. To me, it’s not as dry as ricotta and I prefer the flavor, but if you like ricotta, then use that in place of the cottage cheese. Next add basil and the 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan ( fresh or the kind that comes in the shake-able container….no one is judging). Mix together and taste to see if you need to add any more basil or cheese.
Add in one egg and stir to combine.
Spray a large baking dish with non stick spray. Spread some of the meat sauce to cover the bottom.
Place about 4 oven lasagna noodles in a layer, slightly overlapping one another over the sauce.
I like for the pasta to cook with the sauce, I think it adds more flavor to them, not to mention it saves on time not having to boil them first.
Next, add a layer of sauce on top of the noodles.
Spread a layer of the cottage cheese mixture on top of the sauce…..
then add a layer of shredded cheese. I use a mix of mozzarella, Colby Jack and cheddar.
Then add another layer of noodles, sauce, then once again a layer of the cottage cheese mixture and then more shredded cheese. Top with one more layer of noodles and then the rest of the sauce.
Lastly, sprinkle on 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and rest of the Mozzarella, Colby Jack Cheddar mixture.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake 15 to 20 minutes more or until the noodles are done.
Let stand 15 minutes before cutting and serving.