Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Lasagna Ever

Can you believe it has been over a month since I have blogged?  What the heck have I been up to?  The answer to that question is not really a whole lot...I don't have an excuse!  So, sorry about being missing in action for a bit but I have a new recipe for you!  Before I share that though I am going to lament about a dairy attack for a second.

I decided Friday morning before Christmas that I could tolerate one piece of a milk chocolate covered graham cracker, WRONG!  It started causing minor problems which I just ignored...DUMB.  Friday night Jesse and I decided to go out to dinner and I got spicy chicken pad thai and somehow got sneak attacked!  I have no idea what was in it that was dairy but it mutilated me.  I was up all night Friday night AND Saturday night, it was awful!  So moral of the story is, even when you think you can tolerate "just a little" remember that you can't and take some pills!!

Anyhoo!  Lasagna.  Lots and lots and loads and loads of dairy products.  Jesse loves lasagna and my mom wanted to make one for Christmas Eve dinner.  I told her I would make the lasagna since it might be hard for her to make it lactose free and for me to answer all the questions.  I Googled a lasagna recipe and came up with this one: The Pioneer Woman but then I altered it and made my own.  I have to say it was absolutely delicious.  The statement of the night was "This is the best lasagna I have ever had" from everyone at the table.  Everybody got up for seconds, it made my night :).  So I guess I will share it with all of you so that you can also have that proud moment!  I didn't get awesome photos because I wasn't feeling like being anywhere near food to begin with (pre-made this Sunday morning while I was still recovering from the dairy issue).

The Absolute Best Lasagna Ever
(I am very confident in this statement!)

Let me just say this, I have never made lasagna before and I really had no idea how time intensive it can be!  Making this ahead of time was a good idea because it took me quite awhile and it would have been a pain the neck to do it the night of!  The only thing to look out for is to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to cook it the night you are serving it.  It took a little longer than I had thought to fully heat up.

  • 1.5lb ground buffalo
  • 1lb hot italian sausage
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, Minced
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
  • 2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Lactaid Cottage Cheese
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cabot mozzarella
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2: 8oz blocks Cabot Cheddar (the sharper it is the harder it is to cut)
  • 2: 8oz blocks Cabot Monterey Jack
  • 1 package (10 Ounce) Lasagna Noodles
  • (add 1/2 Teaspoon Salt And 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil To Pasta Water)
In a large skillet add your garlic and meats and cook until brown.

Now please note all of that grease...ew.  This is not good for you and it is not necessary in any way what-so-ever.  Drain it.  Drain it all.

Now add in your whole tomatoes and your tomato paste.  The next step is pretty fun, at least I think so :).  Mix it all and in doing so also kind of mash up the whole tomatoes (this is the fun part, they kind of "pop").

Here comes some flavor!  Add your 2 tablespoons of parsley and your 2 tablespoons of basil as well as your 1 teaspoon of salt.  Now, mix all of this together very thoroughly and reduce the hit to a simmer (nothing more than a simmer! your sauce will splatter!).  Leave it simmering away and stir occasionally for 45 minutes.

While your meat is simmering boil some water and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the water (the olive oil will keep the noodles from sticking together).  Boil your lasagna noodles "al dente" (meaning still a little firm) so that they have some substance to them after you bake the lasagna.  When the noodles are done, rinse them with cool water and lay them flat on foil so they are easier to deal with in a little bit.

Combine your cottage cheese with your 2 beaten eggs.  Also add in your 1/2 cup of Cabot mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons parsley.  Now mix it all together thoroughly.

Here is where I realized I was REALLY pressed for time and forgot to take photos.  Sorry!
  • Cover the bottom of your dish with overlapping lasagna noodles.
  • Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles.
  • Take your sliced Monterey Jack (I used the brick and cut it myself because it was cheaper) and lay a layer over the cottage cheese, don't forget that this will melt so you don't have to COMPLETELY cover, just mostly cover.
  • Spread a little shy of half the meat mixture over your cheese slices, spread evenly!
  • Now layer with the noodles again, followed by the cottage cheese mix.
  • Now instead of another layer of Jack make a layer of Cabot Cheddar (you could do Jack again but I just like the bite of cheddar)
  • Cover your cheddar with the rest of the meat.
Done!  With the preparation part anyway.  This is the point where I covered it and kept it cool while I transported it to Maine.  We had it the next night.  You can even freeze this and thaw overnight if you want to store it for awhile.

To cook: 350F for about 30 minutes or until center is nice and warm.

You will 100% not be disappointed.  Just writing this blog is making me want to make this again and eat it.  YUM!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is safe tonight on New Year's Eve!
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I would LOVE to hear how you liked this recipe!  Comment below.


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