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.
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
- Place the onion and beef into a large saucepan. Add all 4 seasonings to taste.
- Cover and cook over medium heat until there is no pink remaining in the meat. Drain most of the fat from the pot.
- Add tomatoes and marinara and repeat seasonings. Increase heat to bring to a boil.
- Simmer for about 5 minutes, then add mushrooms and crushed garlic. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Whisk together cottage cheese, lemon juice, egg, 1/4 c parmesan (or four cheese blend), and a few grinds of pepper.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cheese on the top is browned and bubbly. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before cutting.