Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Best Lasagna Ever

Many cooks have reviewed this recipe and say it is just that- The Best Lasagna Ever. Part of its appeal is the ingredients used are basic- you don't need to hunt down fresh basil, or fresh mozzarella, or handmade sausage. Anyone can make this, and it's EASY. While it is not my favorite lasagna recipe (will post soon), it is definitely good! I've modified it to make it healthier, but the original recipe can be found here. It made A LOT of food (3 layers for me), and I loved how "tall" it looked. You'll definitely need a DEEP pan to make this lasagna, and if you get the disposable pan, clean-up will be a breeze! It was definitely cheesy and meaty, and got 2 thumbs up from my DB. Tastes even better the next day.

Meat mixture
1-1/2 lbs ground beef (I used 93/7 ground turkey)
1 lb hot breakfast sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
(2) cans 14.5-oz whole tomatoes (or 28-oz can)
(2) 6-oz cans tomato paste
2 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp dried basil
1 tsp salt

Cottage cheese mixture
3 cups lowfat cottage cheese (I used fat-free)
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup grated (not shredded) Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp salt

Remaining ingredients
1 lb sliced Mozzarella cheese
10-oz package lasagna noodles (I used whole-wheat)- Add 1/2 tsp salt & 1 Tbsp olive oil to water
* Large, disposable lasagna pan (optional, but definitely glad I did)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or Dutch oven, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain half of the fat; less if you're feeling naughty.
4. Add the remaining Meat mixture ingredients. Crush the tomatoes with your spatula to resemble bite-sized tomato chunks. Set aside.
5. In a medium bowl, mix all Cottage cheese mixture ingredients. Stir together well and set aside.

** Prior to assembling, you can do some easy math to help determine # of layers.
a) Lasagna noodles: Determine the # of noodles you've cooked and divide by 4... this should give you how many layers you will make. For example, 10-oz of lasagna noodles gave me 14 noodles. Thus, since I am laying 4 noodles per layer, I will have 3 layers of lasagna.
b) Mozzarella slices: Again, count the # of mozzarella slices and divide by the # of layers. Since I had 20 slices, I used 6-7 slices per layer.

Using this recipe, I could make 3 layers.

1. Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of a baking pan, overlapping if necessary.
2. Spoon 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly.
3. Cover cottage cheese with single layer of mozzarella slices.
4. Spoon 1/3 of meat mixture on top of slices.
5. Repeat, ending with meat mixture. Ensure you cover the noodles in its entirety- especially the top layer. If you don't, the noodles will get baked and get "crispy".
6. Sprinkle generously with extra Parmesan.
7. Either freeze, refrigerate for up to 2 days, or bake immediately for 20-30 minutes (I baked for 30 minutes), or until top is hot and bubbly.
8. Eat. Enjoy. Faint. Smile.

Source: Adapted from Pioneer Woman


laura said...

My GOD does this look amazing! I will never ever ever make lasagna with cottage cheese though, pass the ricotta.

Joelen said...

I don't normally cook with cottage cheese but I would be willing to try this recipe! Looks fabulous!

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