Monday, July 27, 2009

Lasagna Part Two - The Best Ever

I have been making lasagna the same way for about 15 years now. I put my own special twist on it by using cream cheese and cottage cheese. I adore the creamy taste and texture it gives the lasagna and it never turns out dry. I also use dry noodles, no need to cook them with my recipe.

I purchased a beautiful rustic lasagna pan, and I must say it was a great idea. I have been making it in a giant Corelle Dish for years, and it ends up being a. too much food and b. too many layers. So, I am very happy with my new lasagna pan!

This time I decided I wanted to improve my pasta sauce for my lasagna and try a new cheese mixture. Between that and the fact the new pan only allows me 2 layers, it turned out to be the best Lasagna I have ever made.

1 lb ground beef (not too lean)
1 lb regular ground pork
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes in juice
2 ripe fresh tomatoes, cored and diced
2 tbl tomato paste
1 onion diced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped into tiny squares
4 cloves of garlic, minced
6 to 8 Crimini Mushrooms, stems removed, cleaned and sliced
1 can olives, drained (get the sliced kind)
2 tbl dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbl dried basil or fresh if you have it
garlic salt
cracked black pepper
Red Wine - decent bottle please

Other ingredients needed
Lasagna noodles
1 8 oz container cream cheese (do not use fat free)
1 container low fat cottage cheese
Mozzarella Cheese shredded
Cheddar Cheese shredded
Monterey Jack Cheese shredded
*****You want a 40/40/20 mix on the cheese, 40% Mozzarella, 40% Jack and 20% Cheddar, mix them together********

Place your meats into a large non stick pan (don't use a fry pan, it needs to be taller, I used a non stick stew pot)

Cook your meat until it is about half way cooked, drain grease

Add your onions, garlic, carrots, mushrooms and continue to cook until most of the pink is gone

Add the spices and your tomato sauces, olives, 1/4 cup red wine.

Let cook for about 2-3 hours, the sauce should reduce and the flavors will improve. If it seems to be reducing too much, add some more red wine and continue to cook. You want a fairly thick consistency when you are done.

Assembly - Note you will use all the Cottage Cheese and about 3/4 of the Cream Cheese

Pan spray the dish you will be cooking your lasagna in

Place a few spoonfuls of the meat sauce down first, spread it around

Start by placing a layer of dried lasagna noodles

Add meat sauce, spread it around

Place dollops of cottage cheese and cream cheese randomly

Top with the cheese mixture

Another layer of noodles, meat sauce, cottage cheese, cream cheese and mixed cheeses

Continue until you are out of ingredients, top with any remaining cheese

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes and it should be bubbly


Donna-FFW said...

OK still laughing at the comment decent bottle please. you are too hilarious.

Lasagne sounds absolutely phenomenal!! I have never tried it with creamcheese/cottage cheese, must add so much to the texture. It screams pure comfort and delicious taste to me!!

Pam said...

I am loving this lasagna - the sauce sounds really good and I am digging the extra cheese.

Kelly said...

I am freaking out over this lasagna! If it wasnt 85 degrees today this would be dinner. Cant wait to try it!!!!!!!

Bethie said...

Loving this! When it comes to anything dairy, FF is just not right. LOL!!

Lynda said...

Love that gooey, melted cheese-I'm so wanting this now! Lasagne is one of my favorite foods.

The Blonde Duck said...

Sweet Wounded Wuffles. You're killing me.

♥peachkins♥ said...

we had lasagna the other day but it didn't look as delicious as yours does..

Anonymous said...

oh man, NO ONE in their right mind should use fat free cream cheese! Yours look SOOOO cheesy and delicious! MAy I come over for dinner? I'll do the dishes! :-)

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

LOVE ALL THE CHEESE! Is there anything that is not made better with the addition of Cream Cheese?

Amy said...

You know I LOVE your lasagna recipe. If this is the best lasagna you have ever made then that mean I MUST try it! Looks fantastic!

MaryBeth said...

I love lasagna, I have never made it using cream cheese before but this looks out of this world damn good...

Grace said...

oooooh, my word, the melted cheese. not only do i find it more gorgeous than even melted chocolate, but i also think the combination of cheeses you used is fantastic. you don’t have to twist my arm to convince me that this is the best lasagna ever—nicely done!

Lady P said...

yep! this just got bookmarked!

Spryte said...

I love your lasagna pan. I almost buy one every time I go into Sur La Table! And your ooey-gooey lasagna looks to die for!

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