I have a new website obsession. Okay, two websites. The Pioneer Woman and The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Thanks to the BTB girls for turning me on to the cooking one, then I found the other one through there. This woman is HILARIOUS. And she's an awesome photographer. The PW website is under construction right now, so you might have to wait a couple days to check it out. I'm slowly working my way through reading all the recipes on the PWC website...there are some things I'm DYING to try. If I didn't care so much about my weight, I'd probably have made a lot of them by now.
Anyway, I wanted to make lasagna for dinner tonight because the boy and I are heading out of town tomorrow for four days. I figured having lasagna would give the husband leftovers to eat while we're gone instead of him getting pizza every night. Let's hope it works. I'm going to be pretty mad if I come home and the same amount of lasagna is in the fridge as when I left. I'll also be mad if my house is in any state other than what I left it. Love you, husband, but consider yourself warned. Happy wife, happy life.
I digress. I was going to make the same old lasagna recipe I always make (my mom's...which is very yummy), then I saw one on PWC that I thought I'd try. I read through all the comments (all 314 of them) and decided it would be worth trying. A couple food snobs didn't like it (or didn't like her choice of ingredients), but for the most part it got rave reviews from everyone else. I'm excited to try it.
Pioneer Woman's Best Lasagna Ever
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 pound hot breakfast sausage (Jimmy Dean’s bulk)
2 cloves minced garlic
2 14.5 oz cans whole tomatoes
2 6 oz cans tomato paste
2 T dried parsley flakes
2 T dried basil
1 t salt
10-oz package of lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente
1 lb sliced mozzarella cheese
3 cups lowfat cottage cheese, 2 beaten eggs, ½ cup Kraft Parmesan cheese, 2 T dried parsley flakes, 1 tsp salt
In a skillet, combine 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, 1 pound hot breakfast sausage, and 2 cloves minced garlic. Cook until brown. Drain off about half the fat (or more, to taste). After that, add two 14.5-oz cans of whole tomatoes, two 6-oz cans of tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes, 2 tablespoons dried basil and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix together thoroughly and simmer, uncovered, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the meat mixture is cooking, mix 3 cups lowfat cottage cheese in a bowl with 2 beaten eggs. To the cottage cheese, add 1/2 cup Kraft Parmesan Cheese. 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix together well.
Now, go ahead and build your assembly line: meat mixture, 1 pound sliced mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese mixture, and cooked lasagna noodles. Lay four cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of the pan, overlapping as you go. Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture evenly over the noodles. Then lay 1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese slices on top of the cottage cheese mixture. With the spoon, make a line through the middle of the meat mixture so you’ll distribute it evenly. Spread a little less than half of the meat mixture over the mozzarella cheese slices until it’s evenly distributed. Repeat and finish with meat mixture. Top with a pretty generous layer of good ole Kraft grated parm.
Now pop it in a 350-degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly. (Alternately, you could cover and freeze it, unbaked, at this point or cover and refrigerate, unbaked, for up to two days before baking.)
Quite a few of the reviews said it was too salty, so I think I'll probably leave out the extra salt. I'm using shredded mozzarella because I couldn't find sliced mozzarella, the block of mozzarella was expensive, and I already had an 8 ounce bag, so I only needed to buy one more.
I had recently decided I was only going to use Parmigiano-Reggiano going forward. I used to use the parmesan cheese in a can, then switched to buying it already shredded, then to buying a chunk of parmesan and grating it myself with my awesome microplane. Slowly I'm making the transition to the good stuff. I hesitated to make this recipe when I saw the canned cheese because that's a major step back for me, but I'm going to try it and see how it turns out. The can of cheese was only $2-something, so not a big deal. Can of cheese...that sounds so wrong.
I just mopped my kitchen, so once I've given that time to dry I think I'll assemble the lasagna, so that's one less thing I have to do once the boy is up from his nap. Fingers crossed we like it!