Friday, July 31, 2009


I have no valid excuse as to why there is no photo here. I can only tell you that no sooner did this come out of the oven and hit my plate, it was gone. I swear I had every intention of photographing the leftovers. Yet again, it hit the plate and it was gone. I hope you take this lack of photography as a sign of just how fabulous this recipe is.

I think I talked about my awesomely easy lasagna recipe way back when I made Lasagna Rolls. If not, let me take this opportunity to share.

This is the first meal that I ever cooked for Mr.ShoeFanatic. And it was love at first bite. It's his favorite thing that I cook and when he asks for it, I am only too happy to oblige.

All of my friends swoon when I make this as well. I've made it all throughout college and it has been the ultimate comfort food. Especially after a long week of finals.

So please do me a huge favor and make this soon? I promise you won't be disappointed!

12 or 15 lasagna noodles*
Olive oil
2 lb ground beef/chuck (more or less depending on how much meatsauce you want; 2 lbs makes a good hearty sauce which I prefer)
1 jar your favorite spaghetti sauce
16 oz cottage cheese
1 bag Italian shredded cheese (~2 cups)

Boil lasagna noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.

Cover bottom of pot with olive oil. Add meat and brown until thoroughly cooked. Try to break it up as best you can. You don't want huge chunks of meat in your lasagna. You can also season your meat beforehand if you'd like. And you can add sauted onions and garlic. It's up to you.

Once meat is thoroughly browned (and smells fabulous), add your spaghetti sauce and let it simmer. Season to your liking. I usually use Basil, Oregano, Salt, Black pepper, Garlic powder, etc.

While your meat sauce is simmering, start setting up to do your layers. Grease a 9x13 dish. Get your cottage cheese open with a spoon. Open your bag of cheese. Get a big spoon or ladle for the meat sauce. And have your noodles nearby.

Ok, when your meatsauce is so good you want to bathe in it and you're all set up, it's time to layer. Here's how I do it:

--3 lasagna noodles
--layer of meatsauce
--thin layer of cottage cheese (it's ok if it doesn't spread that well, it's all going to melt anyway)
--thin layer of shredded cheese

Repeat until you're done. For the top layer you want to finish with a layer of noodles and then put the rest of the shredded cheese on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes or until the top layer is golden brown.

*The number of noodles you use really depends on how you like your lasagna. I love the pasta so I use 15. It creates 4 relatively thin layers of meatsauce and cheese. If you prefer more sauce to pasta then just go with 12 noodles and make each layer a little thicker. It'll be just as good. I promise.

I don't even know why I'm putting a verdict for this since it's so damn fabulous. I swear Mr.SF and I fight over who gets to eat the last of it. The cottage cheese is really the key here. I am not a fan of ricotta so I don't cook with it but I am convinced that even those who do like ricotta would switch forever if they tried the cottage cheese in it's place. It melts soooo perfectly and makes everything extra creamy.

I might have to make another one this weekend...

I also occasionally throw in some green peppers and/or mushrooms with the meat. It's a good way to get the veggies in for the kiddos. Spinach also works EXCELLENT for this dish. You can't even tell it's in there!

This is also a meal that freezes really well. Just undercook your noodles, make the layers and pop in the freezer. Let it defrost before you stick it in the oven. The perfect dish to send to a friend!


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