I’ve tried a bunch of different lasagnas – I’ve even made my own sauce from scratch letting it simmer for hours on end; this is NOT a scratch recipe but, I’m not feeling bad about it because it’s a no fail, delicious-every-time type of meal. If you’re Italian, don’t hate on me. This lasagna has feed hungry families, the sick and disabled, and been sent to funerals and new mamas numerous times across the county where I live. Don’t knock it until you try it!
What you’ll need:
- 2 lbs of hot Italian sausage (trust me unless you just absolutely detest a little spice in your life)
- Garlic Salt
- Italian Seasoning
- Fresh Basil
- 2 (16 oz )jars of marinara (I use Prego or whatever is on my shelf)
- 2 eggs
- Cottage Cheese 1 1/2 – 2 lbs
- Ricotta Cheese 8 oz give or take
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 Tablespoon of fresh parsley chopped
- Package of Lasagna noodles about 20 noodles (not the pre cooked kind)
- Mozzarella cheese (just buy the big bag)
I use a Dutch oven to brown my meat but you don’t have to. Get a big pan or pot, though, so you have plenty of room once the meat is browned and we add the sauce.
You might only find the sausage in links, so go ahead and removed and discard the casings. Brown the sausage and season with garlic salt. Add about a Tablespoon of Italian seasoning. I know the meat is seasoned already, but trust me on this. While you’re browning the sausage, get your noodles started. I add a little olive oil and salt to boiling water and then drop the noodles in. I only cook them for about 8 minutes. You definitely want them al dente because if they are too soft, they will fall apart as you try to layer them. Trust me.
I doubled my recipe in these pictures so don’t think something is wrong.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley flakes and salt and pepper. On the salt and pepper, I never measure but I’d say a teaspoon of salt and a couple cranks on the pepper mill.
Next, add the sauce and a handful of chopped basil to the sausage once its browned.
Set oven to 350 degrees. By now, your noodles should be done. I turn off the heat and leave them in the water. Experience just taught me that it’s easier to work with them this way and they don’t stick to each other. If it makes you feel better, you can drain them, but I just grab tongs and layer some on the bottom of my casserole dish. Typically, I use a ceramic deep casserole dish but these pictures were taken when I was preparing a lasagna for a family who had lost a loved one. If you use a bigger dish, you may have to cut some noodles to make sure the whole thing gets layered.
Now spoon meat sauce on top of the noodles. Be sure to put it thin enough that you’ll have enough for 3 layers.
Next put a layer of the cottage cheese mixture
Now top the cottage cheese with the shredded mozerella
Now you will do two more layers just like this. Noodles, meat sauce, cottage cheese and mozzarella. For the top layer, you put noodles, whatever sauce is left in the pot (I try to spread it to the edges so when we put it in the oven, the noodles won’t get too crispy). Then top it with mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the whole thing is bubbling and warm. Let cool a little bit before serving. Enjoy!