Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cooking Cove: Traditional Lasagna

Lasagna... I love a good lasagna. It is one of those rare foods that tastes even better the next day as a leftover. And leftovers generally do NOT get eaten around here. Excepting pizza, lasagna and Outback's Alice Springs Chicken. I have been using this lasagna recipe since college. It gets use at least once a year around Christmas time. I recently broke it out when the boss and his family came over to dinner. Boss man got second helpings so I think it went over decently. There are three things I require for a traditional lasagna recipe: cottage cheese, provolone and some pork sausage.

1 pound ground beef
1 pound pork sausage- I like to use our local grocery store's in house fresh Italian blend
3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce- Contadina is a great brand
2 (6oz) cans tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 eggs
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
24 oz cottage cheese- I like my curds large
8 oz ricotta cheese
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, shaved- I use the good stuff, usually a nice wedge from the deli
9 lasagna noodles, cooked- I like to add salt and olive oil to the boiling water so the noodles are easier to handle and taste better
6-10 slices of provolone cheese
3 cups of mozzarella, divided- or more if you like extra cheese

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Brown the beef and sausage, drain. Add the next seven items and simmer on low/medium low heat for one hour.
- In a medium bowl, combine eggs, parsley, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and parmesan.
- Spread 1 cup of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
- Here are the layers:
  • 3 noodles side by side
  • provolone cheese slices slightly over lapping
  • 2 cups cottage cheese mixture
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • 3 noodles
  • 2 cups of meat sauce
  • remaining cottage cheese mixture
  • 1 cup of mozzarella
  • 3-4 more noodles, my pan flares out at the top so I can usually squeeze another noodle in
  • remaining meat sauce
Cover with foil and bake 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake an additional 20 minutes. Let this stand at least 15 minutes before serving.

 I like to cook this early in the morning, refrigerate, then reheat in the oven just before serving. It allows the ingredients to meld nicely and when you cut into it the layers won't slip and slide everywhere on the plate. You get that nice cube of lasagna. Lasagna freezes well and can feed an army. Or just Garfield. Or my small family for two days.


  1. Mmm, that looks really good. I will try adding cottage cheese. My father would put cottage cheese in pancake batter when I was young and the pancakes would be more filling.

    1. Cottage cheese in pancakes? Yum! I will have to try that. Pancakes and bacon are dinner around here at least twice a month.

  2. Wow. First of all, your pictures are impeccably professional. Secondly, I will be making this! And you know how I am about my ew-this-is-yucky pickin out funky chunks in red sauce recipes lol. You are an awesome blogger, Julie. And cook. And photographer. Pretty much anything you put your mind to! Can't wait to give this a shot. Wish me luck!

    1. Thank you sweet sister! <3 yes! I vividly remember the pickiness! No onion, no chunks of tomato, yep I think it will do! I made this for Adam when we were 19 and brought it into our hotel room :-) Drew might enjoy some too. Thank you for the compliments and love. I have a lot to learn but this blogging thing is really a creative and fun bright spot for me. The friends I have made in wax blogs have been my favorite part of it. <3

  3. This looks absolutely scrumptious!! Now, does it taste cottage cheesy at all? Josh is not a fan of the stuff, though I love it, he think he would enjoy this recipe if it wasn't too curdly tasting, lol! You're right about it tasting better the next day. MMmmmmmm, I want this so bad now! Ship me a FedEx box with some in it, please! ;)

    1. I don't think it is overly cottage cheesey but just do a tiny 8 oz container and use more ricotta :-) and see how y'all like it!

  4. This looks so delicious (& professional!)!! I'm not a fan of cottage cheese though (& neither is the family), but I may have to try this some day!! :-)

    1. Thanks Tricia! Use a larger container if ricotta if cottage cheese is not y'all's thing. :-) hope you have a good day!