Okay, that’s a really bold statement…but I do love this recipe! Here in Georgia, it’s getting cold and rainy out…time for some comfort food.
A Recipe: Lasagna
When I was just a teenager, Rosemary, the wife of the Minister of Music for the church I attended, invited all the choir members to their home for a youth party. She made the most amazing lasagna, the best I’d ever tasted. A few years later, our church put out a cookbook of the member’s recipes and I was so happy to see the recipe was in the book. I’ve been making lasagna with this recipe ever since. I love to make it when I have company coming over for dinner because it’s always a huge hit and pretty much impossible to mess up.
Now church cook books can be a bit tricky. The recipes are typed up by volunteers and not always easy to follow. I’ll show you the recipe as it appears in the cookbook and then I’ll give you MY interpretation and how I always make it. After that, you’re on your own.
This recipe includes “Italian sausage” in addition to ground beef. You could just buy the Italian sausage already made (like Jimmy Dean) or you can make your own with the following recipe. I’ve tried it both ways and I have to say…making your own with this recipe to me tastes much better…and it only takes a sec.
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. pork sausage
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp. marjoram
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
Mix together the above ingredients and place in refrigerator overnight. (optional)
Next you brown your Italian sausage with:
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp basil
1 can tomatoes
2 Tbsp parsley flakes
2 tsp salt
2 12oz cans tomato paste
I also add in about 1 to 1 1/2 cans of water (using the tomato paste can) because otherwise the sauce looks too thick to simmer.
You probably already know this but…be sure to brown the sausage and dip off any grease prior to adding in the tomato paste. I always let the sauce simmer for about 20-30 minutes. If you’re in a hurry, you could just use store-bought sauce. Sometimes I use that and “doctor” it up a bit with my own spices of choice.
Then, mix together:
3 cups (2 lb carton) cream style cottage cheese
2 beaten eggs
2 Tbsp parsley flakes
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp pepper
You’ll also need:
8-10 lasagna Noodles, cooked
1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, grated (I just buy one of the 4 cup packages and use what it seems to need)
Place 1/2 or 4 noodles in 13 x 9 inch baking dish. (I think it’s fine to spread a little sauce in first if you like, but the recipe says to place the noodles in first…and that’s the way I usually do it.) Spread 1/2 cottage cheese mixture over noodles. Sprinkle grated cheese over this. Add 1/2 of meat sauce. Repeat this layer again. Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Good comfort food for a cold, rainy fall day!
I guess you can tell I baked this around Halloween.
Here’s a printable version of this recipe:
- 2 lbs of Italian Sausage OR make your own (see below)
- Ingredients to Make Your Own Italian Sausage:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 lb. pork sausage
- 1½ tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp. marjoram
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp basil
- Additional Ingredients needed for this recipe:
- 1 clove garlic
- 1½ Tbsp basil
- 1 can tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp parsley flakes
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 12oz cans tomato paste
- 3 cups (2 lb carton) cream style cottage cheese
- 2 beaten eggs
- 2 Tbsp parsley flakes
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1, 1 lb Mozzarella cheese, grated
- 8-10 Lasagna noodles, cooked
- If you’ve wish to make your own Italian Sausage, mix together the first 6 ingredients and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, brown your Italian sausage, with garlic and basil. Once browned, dip off any grease that’s cooked out.
- Then mix in tomatoes, parsley, salt and tomato paste.
- The recipe doesn’t call for this but I also add in about 1 to 1½ cans of water (using the tomato paste can) because otherwise the sauce looks too thick to simmer.
- Let simmer for around 20-30 minutes.
- Mix together cottage cheese, eggs, parsley, parmesan cheese, pepper and most of the mozzarella cheese, saving some for the top.
- Place ½ (4-5 noodles) in 13 x 9 inch baking dish. It’s fine to spread a little sauce in first if you like, but the recipe says to place the noodles in first…and that’s the way I usually do it.
- Spread ½ cottage cheese mixture over noodles.
- Sprinkle grated cheese over this.
- Add ½ of meat sauce.
- Repeat this layer again.
- Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Let stand 10 minutes before serving.