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Lasagna Recipe: Too Easy to Be This Good
Easy Recipe Requires Low Skill
I got this recipe from a co-worker of my wife a few years ago. It requires very little cooking skill and is very, very tasty. The low cooking skill is exactly what I needed back in those days when I obtained this gem. It happens to be tasty enough so that you will be able to act like you have higher cooking skill if need be.
Easy Lasgna Recipe, Ole Number One Style!
The following is a plain English version to help the novice get through without disaster.
The first thing you will need in this recipe is an oven. Set it to 350˚ to preheat.
You will also need a large deep dish pan to hold the enormous amount of cheesy goodness.
You will need two bags (4 cups) of shredded cheddar, and one pound of real mozzarella. Please don't skimp on the mozzarella by buying the shredded stuff as the quality, taste and texture are very different.
Get a large container of small curd cottage cheese and 8 Ounces of sour cream. One block of Cream Cheese. For better taste in the end product I recommend not skimping on these items as well.
For the meat portion you will need 3 pounds of ground beef. Ground beef has a higher fat content than chuck does, we all know fat is what makes things taste good so we use ground beef.
For the sauce there are two options:
1. Make your own tomato sauce, which is what I do, it complicates the recipe but makes it better in the end.
2. Buy your favorite spaghetti sauce in a jar. This makes for easy mixing.
The last thing you will need is some lasagna noodles, I have used the no boil and the regular noodles. I don't detect a distinct difference so that choice is fine either way in my opinion.
Once all these elements have been acquired the cooking and mixing should begin.
- First grab a pan and begin to brown the meat. You are making a meat sauce in this pan. Make sure you smash and rake the meat during browning or you will have large chunks of meat which is not optimum for a good meat sauce. Put the noodles in a large pot of water to boil. Make sure you move the noodles around when they begin to cook to prevent sticking together. They will stick trust me and it isn't pretty.
- While the meat is browning you should mix, in a large bowl, one bag of the shredded cheese (holding the other in reserve for the top), shred the mozzarella and add to bowl, add sour cream, and cottage cheese. Mix this together with a wooden spoon. If you want some color sprinkle in some parsley flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Check the meat, raking and smashing until it is done. Drain all the grease, add the tomato sauce to the meat, then simmer for a few minutes to allow the meat to get some of the flavor.
- You have now created two very tasty but different components. Go ahead and taste them both to ensure they taste good. This recipe seasons itself with the cheeses being naturally salty and the sauce is already seasoned prior to adding it to the meat. Now that you are satisfied with the taste of the components, check the noodles. When the noodles are done, drain the hot water and run some cool water on them to cool them down. You have to handle these to build the masterpiece.
- Get out your deep dish pan, put a little of the meat sauce in the pan and spread it around coating the bottom. This will help prevent the noodles from sticking to the pan. After the pan is lubed, you can begin to build the lasagna. First you must cover the pan with a layer of noodles. On top of the noodles place a thin layer of the cheese mixture. On top of the cheese mixture place a thin layer of the meat sauce. You haven't forgotten about the cream cheese have you? Cut the cream cheese into one inch cubes. On top of the meat sauce place 7 cubes at random across the lasagna. You may need to press them slightly into the meat sauce to keep things level.
- Repeat these steps until all the ingredients are used. Pay attention to the layers and don't forget the cubes of cream cheese. You can't go back and insert them. The last layer, which is the top, should be the meat sauce and cream cheese cubes if you have any cubes to place. I have made this a few times, I have learned if you will take a spatula and tuck the edges all the way around the dish it will help to prevent dried hard noodle edges on top of the lasagna. All you are lacking is the top. The top is simple. Pour the reserved bag of shredded cheese right on top and spread evenly. Cover the dish with foil and shove it in the oven.
- 4 Cups Cheddar, Shredded
- 2 Cups Mozzarella, Shredded
- 1 Large Container Cottage Cheese
- 3 Pounds Ground Beef
- 8 Ounces Sour Cream
- 1 Package Cream Cheese
- 1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce, Your Favorite Brand
- 1 Box Lasagna Noodles, No Boil if you Prefer