How do you take a decent picture of lasagna? Despite the picture, this is really really good. My husband does not like the traditional lasagna because he doesn’t like ricotta cheese. So I make mine with cottage cheese, and I even like it better.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1/2 large onion, diced
2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
9 lasagna noodles, boiled for half the time on the box (about 4 minutes)
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound italian sausage
12 oz cottage cheese
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or with a napkin dipped lightly in olive oil and set aside.
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and sausage over medium-high heat, breaking the meat apart into pieces with a wooden spoon. When meat is cooked through, drain the grease and set aside.
In a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and one tablespoon butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. When oil/butter is hot, add the garlic, stirring constantly. When the garlic is lightly browned, but NOT burned, add the onion. Continue cooking on medium-high heat until the onions are soft and browned and the fluid has mostly cooked out. Then add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Then add the diced tomatoes, oregano and basil, salt and pepper. Stir. Cover and let the sauce sauce simmer for 30 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Right before using the red sauce in the lasagna, stir in the reserved ground meat.
While the red sauce simmers, if using lasagna noodles that need to be boiled, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil the noodles for half the time suggested on the box. Once the noodles are cooked, drain, but do not rinse. Add a dab of olive oil to keep them from sticking together.
To begin layering the lasagna, keep in mind that you’ll have three layers of noodles as well as three layers of the sauces and cheese – so plan on splitting all the sauce and cheese piles into thirds so you don’t run out at the end! On the bottom of your lightly greased baking pan, layer three pre-boiled noodles or four no-boil noodles, slightly overlapping the no-boil noodles. Layer the red sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, cottage cheese, spreading all to the edges and top with another layer of noodles. Again, layer the red sauce, cottage cheese, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and top with the final layer of noodles. Layer the sauces and cheeses again.
Cover the lasagna with a greased layer of aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.