Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tantalizing Tuesday

Allow me to introduce my first ever attempt at lasagna:

And a fabulous attempt if I don't say so myself.

I spotted the recipe for the above beauty on the fabulous Pioneer Woman Cooks blog awhile back and have been anxiously waiting for the perfect opportunity to try it out. Why wait? Well, Mike is not a lasagna sort of guy, all the bumps and array of colours frighten him, when I suggested tonight that he try a bite tomorrow he said "hmmm" which is more a yes than a no in my mind so here's hoping the upcoming bite will tempt him into becoming a lasagna lover. I digress, back to the original story: I've been looking forward to trying this dish and tonight was the night! I had a dinner with my good friend Pat planned for this evening and since she has cooked for me the last few times we've gotten together I took tonight as an opportunity to return the favor. As usual I had a lovely evening with Pat, we try to get together for dinner once a month and it's always a good time!

Pat makes a damn good lasagna, although she would suggest otherwise, so to hear her and her daughter Jen say they really liked mine meant something! I think the addition of sausage meat is an absolute necessity - it gives the dish a swift kick that is just yum. I would cut back on the overall amount of meat next time; I like my lasagna a little more saucy and a little less meaty. The cheese on the other hand was the perfect amount, ooey gooey goodness.

High five to the Pioneer Woman for including step by step pics with her recipes! For the original go here.

Oooey Gooey Good Lasagna
originally titled "The Best Lasagna. Ever."

What You Need:
1 1/2 lbs ground beef (I would suggest you use a pound...then again maybe I used too much?)
1 lb breakfast sausage (I couldn't find a tube of it so I bought a pack of sausages and squeezed the meat out of the skin stuff - I'm sure that must be the technical name "skin stuff")
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large 29 oz can whole tomatoes
2 tiny 6 oz cans of tomato paste
4 tbsp dried parsley flakes (2 and 2)
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tsp salt (1 and 1)
3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (plus a few extra shakes)
1 lb mozzarella cheese slices (fairly thick slices are best)
lasagna noodles (I used the type you don't have to prepare ahead of time - easy peasy)
9 x 13 lasagna pan (or a fabulous carrot cake pan works perfectly as seen above - thanks Pam!)
skillet (I love my cast iron pan)

What You Do:
1. In a skillet, combine ground beef, breakfast sausage, and minced garlic.
2. Cook until brown.
3. Drain, drain, drain! You'll have loads of fat, get rid of at least half or prepare to drop dead due to clogged arteries - you can't say I didn't warn you.
4. Add whole tomatoes and tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes, 2 tablespoons dried basil and 1 teaspoon salt.
5. Mix together thoroughly and simmer, uncovered, appx. 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
6. Make your noodles now if you want OR cheat and use the type you don't have to pre-cook and skip this step altogether.
7. While the meat mixture and noodles are cooking, mix low-fat cottage cheese in a bowl with 2 beaten eggs.
8. To the cottage cheese, add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt and mix well.
9. Now it's time to assemble. Lay four lasagna noodles in the bottom of the pan, overlapping as you go.
10. Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture evenly over the noodles.
11. Lay 1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese slices on top of the cottage cheese mixture.
12. With the spoon, make a line through the middle of the meat mixture so you’ll distribute it evenly.
13. Spread a little less than half of the meat mixture over the mozzarella cheese slices.
14. Repeat the process! Add another layer of four lasagna noodles and top with the remaining half of the cottage cheese mixture and another 1/2 pound of mozzarella.
15. Finish with the remaining meat mixture and spread evenly.
16. Finish it off by sprinkling a generous layer of Parmesan cheese!
17. If cooking right away stick it in a 350-degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly (that's assuming you're using noodles you boiled yourself, if you use the no-cook noodles you will need to cook longer to ensure the noodles are not rock hard! I placed my finished lasagna in the refrigerator for 24 hours, and cooked it at 350 degrees for appx. 1.5 hours. YUM!

A side salad is the perfect addition to this meal. Mmm mmmm good.


Twisted Stitchers said...

Yummy!!!! Wow Jaime that lasagna looks delish! So, tell me *did* Mike try any????

I might start dropping by your place on Tuesdays to see what's cooking in your kitchen ;)


Just Jaime said...

Well I must confess, the piece I intended to eat for dinner tonight was gobbled up at lunch and he wasn't around to try it. :(

I've got one hunk left so I'll zap it and test him tomorrow if I can maintain self-control and not eat all of it for lunch! I'll let you know how it goes! :)

jstorozuk said...

So what did you name it?

Just Jaime said...

Name it? Lasagnas don't have names silly. ;)

The Mommie said...

I have to say
it's not everyday
dad and I get fed that way
so if I may
be bold and say
Please make it soon another day
and drop some more back our way.

PS Thanx, it was yummie....