Friday, January 31, 2014


I've only made lasagna a couple of times. It's not something we eat frequently, and I must admit it's a lot easier to pull a Stouffer's box out of the freezer case!  But I've been craving it lately.  I was going to put one together quickly the other morning so hubby could bake it while we were at swimming lessons, but then I discovered I was out of spaghetti sauce. 

Well I'm still out of spaghetti sauce, but I wanted to make it tonight, so I decided to wing it.  And wing it I did.  The end result was slightly runny but tasty! 

I made it in an 8x8 pan.  I easily had enough of everything except mozzarella (I only bought a small package) to make it in a 9x13 if I'd wanted to.

Lasagna from Scratch

1 20-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1/4 medium onion, grated
1 large carrot, grated
5 cloves garlic, grated
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 c. red wine (I used merlot because that's what I had open).
1 1/2 T. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound browned and drained ground beef (this is when the pre-cooked packages I have in the freezer come in handy!)
4 - 6 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 c. small curd cottage cheese
grated parmesan cheese (I use the kind in the can)
1 pound mozzarella, thinly sliced

For the sauce:
Combine tomatoes, sauce, onion, carrot, garlic, Italian seasoning, wine, and sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Turn down and simmer 15 - 20 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in ground beef and heat until warmed through.

For the lasagna:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Put a small amount of sauce in the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish.  Top with noodles to fill pan with a single layer (that's two of the noodles I buy from Trader Joe's.  Top with a thin layer of sauce, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Top with 1 cup of cottage cheese and spread to cover (make sure the noodles are completely covered).  Top that with a layer of mozzarella.  Add another thin layer of sauce, then more noodles, and repeat the rest of the layers.  Add another set of layers if you have space.  Make sure you end with a layer of sauce topped with a layer of mozzarella.

Top with foil (I didn't do this and believe me, you'll want to - my mozzarella was really overbaked).  Bake 25 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes.  Let stand 15 - 20 minutes.  Slice and serve.

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