Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lasagna

Who doesn't love lasagna? Well if you asked me that question 5 years ago I would have said ME!! ME!! The Witch can't stand lasagna!!!! Turns out I was wrong, I do like lasagna, I just like GOOD lasagna, not the stuff my parents used to make & call lasagna.

My parents, bless their hearts, are just not the most food savvy people created. To them, using cottage cheese, Carl Budding ham and pizza sauce was how you made lasagna. Now I know a lot of you out there enjoy cottage cheese in your lasagna, and I'm not knocking that. But please, do try the ricotta instead. Its about the same price as cottage cheese, the texture is leaps & bounds better and it makes lasagna lots better. The Carl Budding ham, well that can be eliminated entirely and no one will miss it. I think the ham was some kind of a strange nod to prosciutto, however that still makes me wonder because my Dad, who put the ham in, hasn't ever heard of prosciutto in his life! If you use jarred sauce please do yourself a favor and get good jarred sauce.

This particular lasagna was made with ground beef but you can use whatever ground meat you like: sausage, beef, turkey or chicken, all work. If meat's not your thing replace it with thin sliced vegetables like broccoli, zucchini or eggplant.

Like all lasagna this makes a TON. It reheats well which makes it idea for lunches. It also freezes well however I'd freeze it before baking it. If you choose to freeze lasagna here's a few tips:
~get disposable pans otherwise your 'real' pans are tied up in the freezer
~write what the dish is along with cooking times & temps on the top layer of foil
~thaw lasagna in the fridge overnight before baking, or if that's not an option then bake for about 2 hours or until its bubbly in the middle.

Lasagna
Source: Barilla pasta
makes 12 servings
1 box Barilla lasagne pasta sheets (not the ones with ruffled edges, the flat sheets)
2 eggs
1 15oz container of ricotta cheese
16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese (4 cups, divided)
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese (2 oz)
1 lb ground meat (sausage, beef, turkey or chicken, your choice)
5.5 cups marinara sauce (2 jars worth)

Preheat oven to 350F if using glass, 375F if using a metal baking pan.
Spray a 13x9 baking pan with non stick spray and spray a piece of foil to cover the dish as well.

Combine the ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan and 2 cups mozzarella cheese in a medium bowl.

Brown meat and drain off fat.

Assemble lasagne:
1. Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of the pan.

2. Layer 4 uncooked sheets of pasta, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, half the browned meat, 1 cup mozzarella and 1 cup sauce

3. Layer 4 sheets pasta, 1/3 ricotta mixture and 1.5 c sauce

4. Layer 4 sheets pasta, 1/3 ricotta mixture, remaining meat and 1 cup sauce.

5. Layer 4 sheets pasta, the remaining sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese.

Cover with sprayed foil and bake 50-60 minutes until bubbly. Remove foil and bake 5 minutes longer to melt cheese. If desired turn broiler on and brown the top layer of cheese.

Allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.



Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
Amount Per Serving
Calories 460.3
Total Fat 22.6 g
Saturated Fat 10.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.6 g
Cholesterol 100.0 mg
Sodium 792.9 mg
Potassium 189.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 36.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
Sugars 5.4 g
Protein 29.2 g

6 comments:

Jenn said...

My mom used to use cottage cheese too!! Which is odd because my grandma (her mom) taught her how to make it and she used ricotta!! Strange...
ANYWAY! Yours looks wonderful...I could eat lasagna every day...and seriously, the simpler the better :) Damn...can I have some of those leftovers?

Design Wine and Dine said...

My favorite line in here is how your parent's ham was some sort of "strange nod to prosciutto" LOL! Theirs does sound interesting!

Yours here is perfect! I love how you got it looking lightly browned and all meaty and cheesy in the center! I love it but don't make it much - once I think, this inspires me!

Michelle J said...

Num! I haven't made lasagna in ages because the kids won't eat it, even though I make it with the good stuff. :(

In most of my italian/meaty recipes I like to do half and half ground beef and ground pork or sweet italian sausage.

Just say no to Carl Budig "ham". Ewwww...

Farmer Jo said...

I have to admit this looks good, but I really don't like lasagna (good or not). Something about the meat and cheese all together is just too much for me. I have started making baked pasta instead - I have no idea why the same ingredients are more appealing with a different shaped pasta. :)

Ananda Rajashekar said...

i have never tried, lasagna that looks so luscious Yum :)

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

Oh geez... ham and cottage cheese in lasagna.... I cringe! But I do adore lasagna and yours sounds very yummy! It's all about that crusty cheesy edge and your photo has me drooling!

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