I always trust Ree… so here it is, The Best Lasagna Ever

22 Apr

My very best friend, Miss Ginny Blue got married in December. I am more than happy that she has finally settled down with her one true love… but there is a giant negative factor in all of this for me. She is moving across the country to sweet little Fort Walton Beach, Fl on Monday! Ok, it’s not giant or negative, I’m just selfish. Naturally, I want to spend as much time as possible with her before she goes. She and her husband Brent were able to come down for dinner this week. I was excited to show off our little place since it was Brent’s first time seeing it, so I planned on making something that is always a crowd pleaser.

Lasagna! Who doesn’t love lasagna? (vegetarians don’t count, I don’t trust them) Meaty, garlicky, cheesy, comforting.. I could go on.

Photobucket

I’ll be honest, this was my first time making Lasagna…ever. I don’t typically order it out in restaurants because I feel like it’s too safe of a bet and I always want to try something new and exciting. Growing up, my mom never once made a traditional Lasagna. So, let’s just say this was new for me. I won’t lie, I get nervous every time I cook, because I don’t trust myself quite yet….Thank goodness this is just about the easiest recipe I’ve ever made!

Being a pretty novice chef, I have found a few talented women to gain some insight from. Ree Drummond a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman happens to be my favorite. If I have something in mind and need a recipe I go to her book or website first! That is where I found this fabulous recipe!

my changes “suggestions” in italics

The Best Lasagna. Ever. The Pioneer Woman Cooks Ree Drummond:
Ingredients
1-½ pound Ground Beef
1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage
2 cloves Garlic, Minced  *used 2 VERY large and 1 regular sized clove
2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
* 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flake (added to sauce when parsley and basil is called for) ok, I added a few but I don’t expect everyone to love heat like I do.
2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
1 teaspoon Salt
3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese
2 whole Beaten Eggs
½ cups Grated (not Shredded) Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley *I used fresh parsley in the cheese mixture.
1 teaspoon Salt
1 pound Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
1 package (10 Ounce) Lasagna Noodles *Trader Joes offers nice no cook lasagna noodles, they worked really well. (side note: If you use No Cook noodles cover them completely in sauce, if a corner is left uncovered it becomes a very crunchy addition to your beautifully baked otherwise gooey and delicious pasta dish.)
(add 1/2 Teaspoon Salt And 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil To Pasta Water)

* I added Black Olives and Mushrooms between the cottage cheese and mozzarella for a little something extra. 

Preparation Instructions
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain half the fat; less if you’re feeling naughty. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons parsley, basil and salt. After adding the tomatoes, the sauce mixture should simmer for 45 minutes while you are working on the other steps.
In a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more tablespoons parsley, and 1 more teaspoon salt. Stir together well. Set aside. Cook lasagna until “al dente” (not overly cooked).
To assemble:
Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of a baking pan, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly. Cover cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat/sauce mixture over the top.
Repeat, ending with meat/sauce mixture. Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan.
Either freeze, refrigerate for up to two days, or bake immediately: 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until top is hot and bubbly.

Try it and Enjoy! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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One Response to “I always trust Ree… so here it is, The Best Lasagna Ever”

  1. Brent and Jenni Saturday, 25 June, 2011 at 4:26 am #

    So I made this tonight, and it was SO spicy. When we came over are you SURE you used HOT sausage AND added all the red pepper flakes? I don't remember it being as spicy as the one I made tonight. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, just WOW.

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