Friday, May 17, 2013

lori's lasagna

Let's make some lasagna, shall we?

First of all, you must know upfront that I'm all about homemade.
Although I'm also all about, EASY.
But those two things don't always collide in an imperfect world.

So here's my attempt,
as best as I can muster up.
To make both those things happen in one pan.
Just plan ahead, the best you can, is all I'm saying.

And please keep in mind that when it comes to COOKING, unlike my BAKING,
I'm not one for measuring.
It's just my quirky-spontaneous way.
(Truth to told, I'm not at all spontaneous...I'm a die-hard planner.)
(But that's another story, for another day.)
When it comes to dinner-making, I'm all about throwing together whatever will
fill my family up with yummy goodness.

Let's get started.

Here's a list of what you'll need:

~Meat Mixture~
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
One small onion, diced
10-15 pepperoni slices, sliced into thin strips
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds hamburger
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
salt, pepper, Italian seasoning

~Cheese Mixture~
One large egg
1 large container of cottage cheese
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning
3-4 cups shredded mozzarella 

Heat up some quality extra virgin olive oil.
Add in about half of an onion, diced up real good.
Along with some pepperoni (if you do the pepperoni thing), some red pepper flakes,
and minced garlic (easy on cooking the burns easily!).

Then throw in about two pounds of hamburger (I use 80/20, always. It's the yummiest, always).
Brown it up, baby!
Add some salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

THEN, not pictured, I add one jar of spaghetti sauce, one large can of crushed tomatoes.
Let that simmer on the stove.
**I do NOT drain the hamburger, by the way**
(Trust me.)
Your mixture should be pretty soupy and smelling delicious.
If it's not soupy, you'll need to add some water, maybe about a cup.
You need a lot of liquid so the noodles will cook properly.
More on the noodles later.


In a separate bowl,
whisk one egg.
Add in one container of cottage cheese. 
(Forgive me that I'm not Italian and not using Ricotta.  I'm from Kansas, for goodness sake!)
Really, this IS delicious.
And don't use fat-free or low-fat.
People, that's nonsense.
But that's yet another story for yet another day.
Full-fat is healthiest, is all I'm saying.
Don't argue with me.

Now, throw in a heaping helping of Parmesan cheese (I'm gonna guess about 3/4 cup),
and a big ol' teaspoon or so of Italian seasoning.

Blend that up and enjoy your accomplishments, thus far.

Next up,
break out the oven-ready lasagna noodles.

Alright, now.
Let's talk about this.
This is definitely where the EASY collides with the meticulously homemade.
I can't stop myself.
I have regular lasagna noodles in my pantry, whole-grain, as a matter of fact.
But this way is just sooooooo muuuuuuch eaaaaasier.

Moving on.

Put a light layer of your meat mixture into a large greased pan.
Arrange your lasagna noodles.
A real chef would probably be horrified at my noodle placement.
But, it's a fun way to practice Tetris in the kitchen. 

Then put HALF of your cheese mixture on top of that,
ALONG with some shredded mozzarella.

Do one more layer of everything,
then top with more mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with some Italian seasoning.
Cover with foil. 
(It is quite helpful to spray the inside of the foil so it won't stick to the cheese.) 

Place your pan on a cookie sheet, if you want.
And believe me, you want to.
That sucker is most likely going to bubble over a bit and this spares you
from having to put into practice your anger management skills.

Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.
Then, drop the temp to 350, take the foil off, and bake for another 15 minutes,
until the cheese is slightly golden brown.

Then I like to cover it with the foil and let it rest on top of the stove for about
20-30 minutes.

Then, you're ready to enjoy!!

Make a good Caesar salad, some garlic toast, and you've got one delicious dinner.

**Bonus recipe**

Caesar Salad Dressing

2/3 cup of real mayo
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 tablespoons water

Mix it up and enjoy over a very green salad!
It's super yummy.

I'm more exhausted writing out this post than I was from actually making the the meal.
I'm going to take a nap.
Then I'm warming up some leftover lasagna for lunch.



Katy said...

Can your next give away be a free dinner made from Lori???

That looks delicious!

Susan A said...

looks so yummy, I could almost smell it :) I will bookmark it into my favourites and try it :)

thank you for sharing!! :)

Karin said...

I'm drooling....looks SO YUMMY!!!

Vicky said...

I know you aren't going to believe this, I've actually made lasagna with a homemade sauce! I know you are probably have to pick yourself up off the floor! Right?

Vicky said...

BTW, your lasagna looks fantastic!

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