Home Cookin'

Lasagna

Lasagna

I have never shied away from my feelings on family time. I believe (along with most family experts) that without it families become unhinged. Of course you already know this! You're reading a family blog ABOUT doing things with your family. Without question, however, our family dinner time is most important to us!

 

If you don't know yet, you will soon figure out that we are not a sports family. We don't have a problem with it, but with four kids Tammy and I quickly discerned that if we ever wanted to see each other we needed to find other team activities to involve them in. Ergo... COOKING!

 

When Tammy and I met it was not an immediate bond. She was not attracted to me. Some of us have to rely on things like personality to attract people as we don't have that "it" factor that is eluded to on every talent contest.

 

News Flash: If you have "IT" that means you look good on camera.

 

I don't have "it" so I had to lean on something else.  I am really good at finding common ground. For us it was food. Tammy introduced me to lobster for the first time when I was 19 years old, and my love for seafood (other than good ol' Kentucky fried catfish) began. Italian was another food we passionately agreed on.

 

Lasagna has always been a crowd pleaser! The recipe we use is from her mother who lost her battle to cancer when Tammy was only 11. Before she passed, however, there were a few things she gave to my beautiful wife. This recipe is one of them.

 

A little forewarning... if you don't have friends to invite over, or go hang out with, I recommend you NOT use this recipe! Being number nine of ten kids also means that many recipes Tammy has feeds small armies! This recipe portions out to twenty four pieces! In true Italian form, invite your momma, your aunties, Uncle Larry, your five cousins, their families, that baker from down the street with the fresh garlic bread... I guess you could freeze a pan and only serve half the batch if there happens to be a soccer game playing during supper time and Uncle Larry can't make it.

 

Lasagna

 

Sauce

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32 oz Prego Traditional

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16 oz Prego Three Cheese

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1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

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1 teaspoon sugar

 

 

Lasagna

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4 pound ground beef or turkey

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1 tablespoon minced onion

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Salt and pepper to taste

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32 ounces small curd cottage cheese

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16 ounces ricotta

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1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

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2 eggs

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1 teaspoon parsley

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8 cups mozzarella

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2 boxes of lasagna noodles (not the oven ready!)

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1 tablespoon vegetable oil

 

Directions

 

Noodles

 

 

In a large pot (3/4 full) bring water to a boil for noodles, adding vegetable oil into water to prevent sticking. Add noodles to the boiling water. Stir every 3-5 minutes until fork-tender (10-15 min). Once noodles are cooked remove from water, and place on a cooling rack (wax paper or foil will work as well) to keep from sticking together.

 

 

Meat Sauce

In a deep skillet cook meat adding minced onion, salt and pepper. Once cooked, drain excess grease and add sauces along with Italian seasoning and sugar. Mix and set aside.

Cheese Mixture

In a large bowl mix the cottage cheese, ricotta, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, and 1 cup of mozzarella.

 

Building the Lasagna

In two 9"x13" baking dish (disposables work well too depending on the company coming over!) add each layer as follows:

  • light meat sauce mix (this helps avoid the noodles sticking)
  • 3 lasagna noodles
  • meat sauce
  • cheese mixture
  • REPEAT the noodle, meat sauce, cheese mixture two more times

The final layer should be a mixture of the remaining Parmesan cheese and mozzarella.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to crisp. Serve with garlic bread, and crank up the accordion for that authentic Italian feel!

 

Side note: This meal is easily freezable. If you don't have friends and family coming over tonight, wrap one of the pans in freezer wrap, and save until next week. Trust me... they'll be asking for it!

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