Changing your life with a bangin' lasagna

Kellyn McDonald

My obsession with lasagna is absolutely astounding and arguably unnecessary. Growing up, every few weeks, my mom would buy a Stoffer’s family-size lasagna for dinner. I drove my mom insane with the amount of times I craved another helping of a newly un-frozen block of pasta.I would eat it until I got sick. 

 

I’m not totally sure where this obsession came from considering I never had homemade lasagna until one day in high school I just decided that I was going to make it from scratch. Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon a recipe called ‘The Best Lasagna. Ever’ after I typed those exact keywords into my google search. Food Network’s The Pioneer Woman was not kidding. As a completely normal 14 year old with limited cooking skills, I was able to make it all by myself.

 

I promise you that this isn’t just an homage to the greatest food ever invented. (Although I’m pretty sure I could write one.) I’m about to tell you how to  make this lasagna from scratch. This is an invaluable skill that has the ability to change your life forever. I’m certain of it.

 

Because I’m afraid of becoming one of those people whose recipes include an entire novel dedicated to that guy that fixed their flat tire on the side of a snowy highway, inspiring them to create a recipe that would alter the course of history for the better, let’s get started. Here is how I craft the most delicious food known to mankind. 

 

What you’ll need:

1 ½ lb of ground beef

1 lb of hot breakfast sausage

2 minced cloves of garlic 

1 cans of whole tomatoes (28 oz each)

1 cans of tomato paste (12 oz)

4 tbsp. of dried parsley

2 tbsp. of dried basil

2 ½ tsp. of salt

3 cups of lowfat cottage cheese

2 eggs (beaten)

½ cup of grated parmesan 

2 tbsp. of dried parsley

1 tbs. of olive oil

1 package of lasagna noodles

1 lb of sliced mozzarella cheese

 

Measuring cups and spoons

1 Large skillet (I prefer non-stick, it makes your life a lot easier, especially if you’re a new chef like me.)  

 

1 Large pot

1 smallish medium sized mixing bowl

Aluminum foil

1 Lasagna pan

What you’ll do:

  1. Read the directions on your box of lasagna noodles. Whatever it says to do, start doing it. Water takes forever to boil. Start making the rest while you wait for it to catch up.

  2. Next, I usually gather all of the materials and ingredients I need and lay them out on the counter. I’m not sure if this is really necessary, but it certainly helps keep the flow going in the cooking show that I’m filming in my head. 

  3. In your big skillet over medium-high heat mix together the garlic, breakfast sausage and ground beef. Cook that until all the meat is nice and brown. Turn off the stove and drain the fat. I usually just kind of tip the pan to one side and get out as much as I can with a large spoon. You definitely want to leave some for moisture, but it’s pretty much impossible to get it all out anyways. 

  4. To the skillet with the meat, add those whole tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of parsley, 2 tablespoons of basil and a teaspoon of salt. Mix that all together and let that simmer uncovered for around 45 minutes.

  5. In your smallish medium bowl, put in that cottage cheese (disgusting, I know, but I promise you won’t taste it), beaten eggs, the grated parmesan, two more tablespoons of parsley, and another teaspoon of salt. Mix that all together

  6. When your water is finally done being difficult and has reached a pretty violent boil, add a half teaspoon salt and the olive oil. Cook the noodles as specified by the box “al dente”. When you put them in the oven later, you don’t want them to get too soft.

  7. After your pasta is cooked and drained, lay out the noodles on a big sheet of aluminum foil. This makes it a lot easier for assembly in a bit. Shockingly, the noodles are very hot so you might want to run some cool water over them before handling. 

  8. Now’s for the main act: building your lasagna. Start by arranging 4 or 5 noodles on the bottom of your pan. If you’re extra like me, you’ll probably want to cut and fold noodles to perfectly cover the bottom of the pan. I like to overlap them a bit to make sure everything is covered.

  9. Divide your cottage cheese mixture in half, and using a spoon, spread that all over the noodles.

  10. Cover that with a layer of the sliced mozzarella. Again, if you’re like me you’ll want to cut and fold the slices to perfectly fit.

  11. Finally, add about half the meat mixture on top of that.

  12. Repeat steps 7-11.

  13. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese. Like, a lot of it.

  14. Throw that baby in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

  15. Feast I love your commentary sm

 

Not only did I learn how to make lasagna, but I also gained a lot of confidence in the kitchen. I am now much more comfortable whipping things up. I don’t do it too much for the fear of being asked to cook for my family more often (we gotta keep those expectations low, ladies), but it is a nice treat to look at and taste a delicious meal and just think, “ya, I did that.”