Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Mama's Lasagna

You know, me and Garfield have a lot in common, we both have orange hair, were very sarcastic, moody, we don't like exercise (although I've been forcing myself to at least 3 times a week for the last few weeks), we love a good cat nap, and we both have a deep and passionate love for the Italian miracle lasagna! Despite how crazy lasagna made Garfield, I can bet that he would have been driven into an insane asylum if he had tried my mom's lasagna.

I know, everyone says that that their mom makes the best lasagna...but really, mine does! I think it's the simplicity of my mom's lasagna that makes it so perfect. Just the right amount of cheese, ground beef, and noodles allow you taste every savory flavour in this dish. My mom has been telling me for years how easy it is to make her lasagna, but the sheer size and weight of this pasta dish had me too intimidated to ever attempt. I finally gave in this past weekend and we made it together. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it took hardly no time or effort at all to complete this masterpiece. An added bonus was that we could wrap it up and keep it in the fridge days before baking, so that we could do all the prep in advance and simply pop it into the oven when we were ready to eat! Hey Garfield, where you at?

Tip: To prevent the cheese from sticking to the aluminum foil, place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the top layer of cheese before covering with the foil. Unfortunately I heard about this tip a little late to use it this time around, but it's great to know for next time!
Tip: This is a great entree for feeding a crowd!

1 650 mL jar tomato sauce
1 package fresh lasagna pasta sheets
1/2 250g container cottage cheese
1 egg
1/4 - 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 package lean ground beef
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 cup water
1 500g package mozzarella cheese, cut into thin slices

1. In the bottom of a large lasagna dish, spoon in a thin layer of tomato sauce. Layer 1/3 of the lasagna sheets evenly over the sauce. Set aside.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, blend cottage cheese, egg, and parmesan cheese together using an immersion blender. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil. Add in chopped onions and saute until soft and transparent. Add the beef, break up using a spatula, and continue cooking until all the beef is cooked through. While the beef is cooking, grate in the garlic.

4. Add the tomato sauce and water into the meat and onion mixture. Stir to combine. Set aside.

5. In the lasagna dish, layer over 1/3 of the meat mixture evenly over the lasagna sheets. Spoon over 1/3 of the cheese mixture, and 1/3 of the sliced mozzarella cheese. Top that with another 1/3 of the lasagna sheets, 1/3 of the meat mixture, 1/3 of the cheese mixture, and 1/3 of the sliced mozzarella. Repeat.

6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350ยบ oven for 1 hour. Remove foil during the last 15 min of baking to brown the cheese slightly.

1 comment:

lasagna said...

That looks simply amazing, really reminds me of my childhood days. My kids also love lasagna, I've got tons of lasagna recipes just for them. I think I'll be making a big batch today to bring some later over at my Mom's, :)