Well, it’s December and only a few weeks left to get Christmas shopping and preparations finished… Seriously, I tell myself every year that I am going to start early and then relax and ‘enjoy’ the holiday season. Well, that has not happened! I haven’t even been able to blog let alone cook much…too many holiday party invites or events going on or just plain tired from all this cold weather!
The other night I wanted a home-cooked meal and decided on lasagna, as it is a favorite comfort food of mine and the leftovers are amazing! I call it lazy because I don’t spend much time on the assembly but it will take at least ½ hour to cook the meat and get all the ingredients ready to assemble…it’s worth it!
I love the versatility of lasagna. You can be traditional or creative and it usually always turns out so tasty!
Jarred sauce works great but it is also super easy to make your own. I usually do half/half depending on what I have around my kitchen. You can simmer the sauce while the meat is cooking then assemble.\
Here’s the recipe:
Lazy Lasagna Casserole
Prep time: ½ hour
Cook time: 1 hour
For the tomato sauce:
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ onion, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
1 can (28oz or 2 14oz cans) diced tomatoes
¼ cup cooking wine (I used red wine)
1 Tsp salt
½ Tsp crushed red pepper
For the meat:
½ onion, chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
2 Tsp oregano(dried)
2 Tsp basil (dried)
2 cups cottage cheese
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 jar tomato sauce (I like using either chunky garden or 3 cheese but you can use any kind that sounds good!)
1 8oz bag of shredded mozzarella cheese (2 cups)
2-3 Roma tomatoes cut in rounds for the top of lasagna
Pre heat oven to 350
For the sauce: sauté onion and garlic in olive oil and then add tomatoes, wine, salt. Let simmer for at least 20 minutes.
For the meat: cook onion, meat and herbs together until browned. Transfer meat to separate bowl and mix in parmesean and cottage cheese.
To assemble: In a large 9x13 pan break apart 1/3 of the noodles and lay evenly in the pan.
Cover with ½ of the jar sauce. Add ½ of the meat and spread evenly. Repeat this step one more time and use the rest of the jar sauce and meat. For the last layer, break apart the remaining noodles and spread evenly on top. Pour the tomato sauce that you made over the top (all of it).
Place the sliced tomatoes on top of the sauce and put in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes. Remove and add cheese to the top. Bake another 15-25 minutes, until cheese is golden.
Serve with parmesan cheese and a side salad or steamed vegetable! This makes great leftovers too!
**This can be easily made into veggie lasagna. Substitute mushrooms and spinach for the meat. OR for another variation, you could use Italian sausage and red peppers. Get creative!