Friday, March 15, 2013

Food Friday - A Lasagna Re-Do

adapted from The Pioneer Woman

For years I've raved about the Betty Crocker Lasagna.  It is what I grew up eating and what I have made my whole adult life but, I must confess, the last few times I've made it I have not been thrilled with it at all. It was just . . bland and boring.  Well, I was watching an episode of  Pioneer Woman on The Food Network and she created this Lasagna.  Now, there were just a few things that were different but it was enough that it intrigued me to try it and, boy am I glad I did!  It is layers of Italian goodness - each layer has its own flavor.  Her recipe only puts in two layers of noodles instead of 3 or 4; it calls for 3 full pounds of meat so, yes, it is m.e.a.t.y. (and so good!).  One thing she did on her show that is not reflected in the recipe is that instead of shredded Mozzarella sprinkle in as a layer, she used slices of mozzarella and just layered them on top of the meet layer.  That one step made a huge difference in the flavor.  Let me tell you, the leftovers were to die for :-) 


2 pounds hamburger
1 pound hot breakfast sausage
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 ounces lasagna noodles
1 pound mozzarella
10 to 12 fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 eggs, beaten


In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the hamburger, sausage and garlic until brown. Drain off the excess fat. Add the tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Stir together well. Simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the olive oil and a dash of salt. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the noodles and lay them flat on a piece of aluminium foil to keep their shape.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grate the mozzarella cheese and set aside. (Or use sliced mozzarella and just layer in the slices)

Cut the basil into a chiffonade by stacking the leaves on top of one another, rolling them tightly and then cutting across. Finely chop the parsley. Add half the herbs to the meat mixture and stir together. In a medium bowl, combine the other half of the herbs, the cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and the eggs, and stir together well.

Now let's assemble the lasagna! Begin by laying 4 lasagna noodles in the bottom of a deep rectangular baking pan; the noodles should slightly overlap. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture onto the noodles; spread to distribute evenly. Sprinkle half the mozzarella on top of the cottage cheese mixture. Spoon just under half the meat mixture on top of the mozzarella, and spread evenly, being careful not to disrupt the layers below. Now repeat the process, beginning with a layer of lasagna noodles, followed by the cottage cheese mixture, followed by the mozzarella and ending with a thick layer of the meat mixture.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over the top. Bake until the lasagna is hot and bubbly, 35 to 45 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

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