Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kick Off Post- Lasagna

I've been wanting to start a food blog for a couple years now and just haven't done it.  There have been other important things in my life like being a wife and mother that have come first.  Now, I feel like I have some time to put into this blog. 

I plan on posting recipes and other cooking or kitchen tips and tricks that I use or have learned.  To be honest I don't always cook with a recipe.  Sometimes I will refer to a recipe and change it to my liking or sometimes I just use them for inspiration, and other times I cook simply by what I have on hand.  I will try my best to measure along the way and provide as many recipes as I can for those who like to replicate the same dish over and over. 

My husband's favorite food is lasagna, and we have eaten it twice in the past week.  I have been trying for that last four years to make lasagna to his liking.  He likes it meaty and cheesy of course.  He always eats my lasagna, but he just told me that he LOVES my lasagna. 

9 lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 small onion
1-2 gloves of garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese to
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese  (I like to grate my own)
8 oz. cottage cheese
1 1/2 - 2 cups marinara sauce (jar or homemade)

Prep time 45 min.  Cook time 1 hour.

Start by boiling your pasta noodles.  I use 9 for 3 layers of 3 noodles because it fits nicely in a 13 X 9 pan.  Feel free to make 12 noodles for 4 layers if you wish.  Just make sure you have enough sauce and cheese for another layer. 

*I don't cook my noodles all the way.  I drain them before they get to al dente.  This way they continue to soak up the red sauce when they cook in the oven and your lasagna won't by all runny. 

Then cook the ground beef, onion and garlic in a skillet.  When the beef is all brown and the onion is softened, drain the fat. 

 Add your desired red sauce.  I just use my favorite from a jar to cut down on time.  Every brand has a different spice blend, so just use what you know you already like whether its from scratch or a jar. 

 Then I begin layering starting with a little sauce in the bottom of the pan. 3 Noodles, 1/3 of sauce, sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, dollops of 1/2 cottage cheese, 1/3 of mozzarella cheese.  Repeat again and for the last layer just cover the noodles with the last of the sauce and mozzarella cheese. 

Cover with foil and cook at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.  Then I remove the foil and cook at 350 for the last 15 minutes until hot and bubbly. 

 *Let it cool for 15-20 minutes before you cut into it.  This helps get out nice pieces and it won't fall over when its on the plate. 
Serve with garlic bread or a Caesar salad.

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