Classic lasagna

I’m doing more traveling for work this week. Generally, if I don’t leave food behind for Andy, I’ll come home to find his dinners have consisted of beer. Because it fills him up. I don’t get it, but that’s a whole other subject.

I decided to make a pan of lasagna since  it reheats well. Plus I was craving Italian food last night. Actually, I’m craving Italian food almost every night. Tomatoes are one of my very favorite foods, but since it’s not tomato season I decided to give canned tomatoes a try. The result? This lasagna was easy to make and tasted oh-so-good.

Between the partially pre-made sauce and the no-boil lasagna noodles, this was easy enough for a weeknight but didn’t taste like a bunch of shortcuts.


Classic lasagna

A couple of notes on the ingredients–you can use ricotta instead of cottage cheese. I don’t use ricotta cheese very often, so it tends to rot in the back of my refrigerator, while cottage cheese is something I usually have on hand. (If you’re trying to get rid of leftover ricotta, check out this recipe for cheese-stuffed chicken breasts). Also, I find that the no-boil lasagna noodles work perfectly well, but you can certainly use the regular kind.

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef (or Italian sausage)
  • 14.5 oz canned tomatoes, undrained
  • 18 oz marinara from a jar
  • 4-5 white mushrooms, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 c cottage cheese
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 egg
  • shredded mozzarella
  • shredded parmesan or four cheese blend
  • no-boil lasagna noodles
  • Seasonings: sea salt, freshly-ground pepper, oregano, and cayenne pepper
  1. Place the onion and beef into a large saucepan. Add all 4 seasonings to taste.
  2. Cover and cook over medium heat until there is no pink remaining in the meat. Drain most of the fat from the pot.
  3. Add tomatoes and marinara and repeat seasonings. Increase heat to bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then add mushrooms and crushed garlic. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Whisk together cottage cheese, lemon juice, egg, 1/4 c parmesan (or four cheese blend), and a few grinds of pepper.
  7. Coat the bottom of a 3-quart baking dish with tomato sauce. Layer with noodles, and then cheese filling. Repeat until you’ve used all of the sauce and filling.
  8. Cover the top with a mixture of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses (about 1 c of each, more or less to taste). Sprinkle with oregano and pepper.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cheese on the top is browned and bubbly. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

3 thoughts on “Classic lasagna

  1. Hey, monks invented beer so that they could sustain themselves through a lengthy fast, you know. Nothing wrong with that.

    But, I will gladly supplement my beer dinner with this tasty noodley treat. 😀

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