FOOD // no really, it's damn good lasagna
I'm always a bit of a skeptic when I see recipes titled "the BEST....." because I feel like everyone is a critic and people are so particular about the food they eat and what their expectations are.
BUT, I was on a mission to make a damn good, but simple and classic lasagna. I follow A LOT of food blogs and I have far too many cookbooks, so you would think I have a ton of lasagna recipes at my disposal. Well, a little column A, a little of column B.
When I googled and stumbled upon The Pioneer Woman's "The best lasagna. EVER." recipe, I was intrigued. After checking out the ingredients, I spotted the one ingredient I thought pushed it over the edge: hot breakfast sausage. Never had I made a traditional meat lasagna with this before.
I had made a few other recipes from her blog and I was never disappointed. Its comfort food at best and fairly simple stuff, because after all, she does live on a cattle ranch in the middle of America, with her 4 kids and cowboy husband. But simple it was and it was exactly what I was looking for.
In a nutshell: it was pretty darn good. Simple, meaty, spicy with a bit of kick yet a classic. Cottage cheese instead of ricotta and lots of herbs. Plus the combination of the ground beef and hot Italian sausage was the thing that I believe took it over the edge.
So what's the one thing you do when you make something amazing? You share it of course! Below is the recipe (taken from and adapted from the original) so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did (and really, who doesn't love leftover lasagna?!) Honestly, it tastes better on day 2, 3, 4 and so on.......
The Pioneer Woman's The Best Lasagna. EVER.
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
1 lb Hot Breakfast Sausage (I used Johnsonville hot Italian Sausage)
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 cans (14.5 oz) Whole Tomatoes
2 cans (6 oz) Tomato Paste
2 tbsp Dried Parsley
2 tbsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Salt
3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese
2 whole Beaten Eggs
1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese (I ONLY use fresh)
2 tbsp Dried Parsley
1 lb Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
1 pkg (10 oz) Lasagna Noodles
(add 1/2 tsp Salt and 1 tbsp EVOO To Pasta Water)
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).
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.