Lasagna. One of the most comforting meals on the planet. I remember making it for my dad and myself, on the nights my mom was working late giving riding lessons at the stable. She’s not a huge fan of Italian, so I always tried to make something that Dad & I really enjoyed, but didn’t get a chance to have too often. I always used the recipe right off the box, and it always turned out great.
I’ve tried other versions since then, but none of them ever lived up to the classic in my eyes. Although, I do love a good spinach-mushroom lasagna. And, I’m looking forward to trying a seafood lasagna at some point in the future. As with most other pasta casseroles , the possibilities are endless. But, at heart, I’m a traditionalist – so, that’s what I’m sharing with you today.
Layers of perfect pasta, lean ground sirloin, creamy ricotta and chewy mozzarella, and a nice zippy marinara sauce. I’ve used fresh pasta in the past, but to be honest – I prefer the box. While I love homemade pasta, I usually use boxed lasagna noodles. They seem to hold up better for leftovers than fresh pasta does. Plus, who doesn’t love the ruffles on the pasta? In the past I’ve had problems with the lasagna being too watery. I find that only happens when I used a combo of whole milk ricotta and whole milk mozzarella. If I use part-skim ricotta, it’s always just right. The addition of cottage cheese may seem a bit odd, but it really does lighten up the texture of the ricotta. If you don’t have a favorite lasagna recipe, give this one a try. It won’t let you down, I promise!
1 lb ground sirloin (at least 90/10)
3 cups marinara sauce (or 1 (28 oz) jar)
1 (16 oz) package lasagna noodles
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded (reserve 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Brown beef in large saucepan over medium-high heat; drain the rendered fat. Add sauce and simmer 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook lasagna according to package instructions. Separate lasagna and lay out on wax paper or aluminum foil to keep pieces from sticking together as they cool.
Combine cheeses (reserving 1/2 cup mozzarella for topping), eggs, parsley, salt and pepper for filling.
Pour about 1/2 cup meat sauce in bottom of (13×9) pan. Arrange 3 pieces of lasagna lengthwise over sauce, overlapping edges. Spread 1/3 of cheese filling over lasagna and cover with about 1 cup of meat sauce.
Repeat layers of lasagna, cheese and meat twice. Top with layer of lasagna, cheese and meat sauce; top with reserved mozzarella and additional parmesan, if desired.
Cover with aluminum foil; bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove foil; bake about 10 minutes longer of until lightly browned. Allow to stand 10 minutes before cutting for easier handling.
Source: adapted from San Giorgio