Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Baked Lasagna x2

My great-grandfather was an Italian chef, so sometimes I like to think that I inherited my love of cooking and all things with garlic, tomato sauce, and noodles, from him.

That would make sense, right? I mean, the tradition of cooking has kind of been passed down through my grandmother, who had an immense love for gardening and cooking, to my mother, who I am quite used to finding in the kitchen, and finally to me.  

(And I shouldn't forget my little sister, I can already tell she will be quite the cook someday; she is already constantly in the kitchen making new things, and she's only 13.)

Apparently, my grandfather was a firm believer in MORE garlic.  More is always better.  So feel free to add a couple more cloves to this recipe; it definitely would not inhibit its fabulousness.  :)

The original recipe, a family favorite, calls for full-fat ingredients, which definitely yields the richest flavor, but in parentheses I put alternatives that I used this time around.  The taste was hardly compromised with the healthier version.  


Baked Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef or sausage (or extra-lean ground beef or turkey)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. salt
1 (1 lb.) can tomatoes (2 cups)
2 (6-oz.) cans tomato paste
10 oz. lasagna noodles
3 cups creamy cottage cheese (or reduced-fat cottage cheese)
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese (or reduced-fat Parmesan)
1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin (2% skim pre-sliced works great)

Brown meat slowly, spoon off fat.  Add garlic, parsley, salt, tomatoes, and tomato paste, simmer uncovered 30 minutes.  Cook noodles until tender, drain, rinse in cold water.  Combine cottage cheese with eggs and seasonings.  Spread 1/2 noodles in 9x13x2 pan, spread 1/2 cottage cheese mixture, 1/2 Mozzarella cheese and 1/2 meat sauce; repeat layers and garnish with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  Let stand 10-15 minutes to set before cutting.  

Serves 12.

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