Friday, June 6, 2008

Lasagna

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there who might be reading. I hope it was a special one for you. I made Chuck a lasagna as part of his "gift." It's his favorite dish that I make and I don't make it often. Years back when I started making it, the process would be time consuming because I'd make everything from scratch. Over the years I've learned how to cut corners and make it still taste good. But, yesterday I felt like going all out.

I found a recipe at allrecipes.com for the sauce. I could have come up with something on my own, but I wanted to make sure the ratios were correct. The sauce consisted of sauteed onions and garlic, then added to the pot were some diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, italian seasonings, and some sugar. The recipe also called for a cup of water, but I'm wishing I would have ommitted that. The lasagna came out a bit too runny for my liking. Next time I'll ge it right.



While the sauce began to simmer, I cooked up some ground beef along with mild italian sausage. I think next time I'd also go with some spicy sausage.



I added the meat to the sauce and let the flavors blend for a while. Then it was time to put the whole thing together (after cooking the noodles of course!). I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta. I'm not a cottage cheese fan by any means. In the past I used ricotta in my lasagna, but I found it made the whole thing too dry. So I decided to try cottage cheese and was very pleased with the results. I mix the cottage cheese with an egg, some parmesan cheese, and parsley.

First I put a little sauce in the bottom of the pan. Then goes a layer of noodles, followed by the cottage cheese mixture, half of the meat sauce, and then the mozerella. Yesterday I used a 5 italian cheese mix for the first layer and then straight mozerella for the 2nd. I sprinkle some parmesan on the top to finish things off.

Here's the finished result:





I was very pleased with the final product. The only thing I would have done differntly would have been to not add the water to the sauce or at least let it cook with the lid off for a while and maybe add more mozerella to the first layer. There was definitely a difference in flavor compared to my "cheat" lasagnas for which I used jarred sauce. I can't wait for lunch today (leftovers)!

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