Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Lasagna

  • 1-½ pound Ground Beef
  • 1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes (or Hunts fire roasted tomatoes)
  • 2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley (I had to use my fresh homegrown Parsley since I didn't have dried)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese (or Ricotta plus I only used around 10 oz. because that's all I had)
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • ½ cups Grated (not Shredded) Parmesan Cheese (or Romano because that's all I had)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley (or fresh - see above
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 pound Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  • 8 oz. bag of shredded Italian cheeses
  • 1 package (10 Ounce) Lasagna Noodles (or 9 Lasagna noodles)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot pepper flakes (optional) - I chose not to use these afterall, since the sausage is supposed to be hot)

Spray a 13" x 9" casserole dish with PAM, set aside.

As Pioneer Woman would put it, here are the cast of characters

Must always work with a cup of coffee, especially on a cold wintry day.

Cook the ground beef, sausage meat, garlic and onions until brown.  Drain most of the fat only leaving about 1/4 cup.

Add the wine, canned tomatoes and tomato paste and stir completely

Add the parsley and the basil and stir in.  Simmer the sauce for about 45 minutes.  In the meantime, in a large pot,  boil about 3-4 quarts of water.  Add a pinch or two of salt after the water starts to boil.  Remove pot from heat and add the Lasagna noodles one piece at a time.  Add a tbsp. of olive oil.  Stir gently and leave the noodles in the hot water for 20 minutes.  (I learned this trick from Ina Garten [Barefoot Contessa] and the noodles come out PERFECT plus they're easier to handle and don't break apart). 

Combine the eggs, Parmesan and Cottage Cheese (I used Romano and Ricotta because that's all I had) and parsley (I only had fresh).  Stir thoroughly and set aside.

This is my somewhat assembly line...yea really, it is!  In this order:
Cooked lasagna, casserole dish, egg mixture, mozzarella & shredded Italian cheeses, cooked meat sauce

Lay three lasagna noodles down first, it's okay if they overlap.  Next spread 1/3 of the egg mixture sauce over each noodle.  Then lay and sprinkle the cheeses. 

Next, layer and spread 1/3 of the meat sauce .  Repeat these steps two more times but in the last or top layer exchange the cheeses and meat mixture.... other words, ending it or topping it with the cheeses.

Bake in 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Set aside while you finish with any other side dishes.

Bon apetit!

I pulled ideas from two-three different other recipes and added some of my own stuff and came up with this delicious meal that you're family will keep go back for seconds, thirds, etc.,  Maybe it's because of the wine that I added, or because I used Ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese.  In years past seems like the lasagna I've made came out to cheesy or too milky, blechhh!!  I like more tomato sauce and meat and by golly, I believe I found the recipe.  And to be quite honest, I forgot to spread some of the egg/cheese mixture onto the 2nd layer which means I had to add the rest into the last layer.  I was really nervous, thinking it would be obvious but it wasn't, it was all perfect.  The trick with the noodles is really cool.  Seems like in years past, when I cooked them according to directions, they always fell apart and shredded to pieces and tasted too mushy.  This way, they're just under al dente but when they cook some more in the oven, they come just right, not too mushy not tough at all, just RIGHT!  The hubster and mother-in-law loved it and so did I  ~isavor the weekend

Football season is quickly coming to an end, college football that is.  I know I didn't really write too much about it this past season, maybe because by the time I got done with the "food" part, I was really tired and wanted to call it a night.  So in the FCS Championship game, played Friday night, it was E. Washington vs. Delaware.  E. Washington trailed the whole game until the very end.  Looked like the Blue Hens of Delaware had it but the Eagles of E. Wash., a couple of tricks up their sleeves and came out the National Champions within the last two minutes of the game.  *whimper* someday, Liberty will be playing in that game.

Tomorrow night, is the BCS Championship game Auburn Tigers vs. Oregon Ducks, am really looking forward to watching it but wish it were on the weekend, it's hard to stay up late for a game and have to get up early the following morning to go to work.  So, I'm thinking and believing that the Auburn Tigers are going to come away with the win, don't ask me why, I couldn't tell although, Oregon Ducks are pretty tough - don't let their mascot fool you. :)

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