Lasagna is one of those things I love making, even now when I can’t eat it! It’s a nostalgic type of food for me. As a kid, I used to love my mom’s lasagna and no one else’s could compare to hers. It’s the perfect comfort food! While this is not SCD legal, I cooked it over the weekend for my husband and our friends.
- 24 oz. pasta sauce (I used Classico’s Fire Roasted Tomato and Garlic for a little extra flavor)
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 14 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 12 oz. tomato paste
- 14.5 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 13 oz. sliced mushrooms
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 c. fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 c. water
- 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried fennel
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 16 oz. cottage cheese
- 16 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
- 6 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
- 32 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 eggs
- 12 lasagna noodles
Cook the ground beef over medium heat on the stove. Once browned, drain the fat in a separate bowl. Drizzle the pan with olive oil and add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms; saute for a few minutes. Add the pasta sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste,and diced tomatoes. Add the sugar, basil, fennel, Italian seasoning, 3 tbsp of the fresh parsley, salt, and pepper. Add 1 cup water and let the sauce simmer on low for one hour, so that all the flavors mesh together. Be sure to give it a few stirs every now and then, to prevent your sauce from getting too thick and clumping.
In the meantime, boil salted water and add the lasagna noodles; cook according to the directions on the back of the package, which should be about 8 minutes. Drain and immerse noodles in cold water to prevent them from sticking. Lay flat on foil sprayed with Pam or on parchment paper until the meat sauce finishes simmering.
In a medium bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese (reserving about 1/2 c. for later), the remaining parsley, and eggs. In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, layer the bottom with meat sauce. Add three lasagna noodles over the meat sauce. Begin layering by first spreading the cheese mixture over the noodles, then, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, and finish off with the meat sauce as the last layer, before adding three more noodles on top. After layering it twice and having a total of six noodles with the meat sauce as the last layer, sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses on top.
I ended up having extra meat sauce, so I cut some of the remaining noodles in half and made a “mini” lasagna by using a 8 x 8 inch baking dish. You can either do that or use the remaining six lasagna noodles and make a full second batch. I just feel with a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, trying to layer one dish with 9 noodles and all that cheese makes it overflow in the oven (I tried that once and it was not pretty hearing the oven sizzle as the cheese dripped down from the top!)
Cover your lasagna with foil and place in a 375 degree heated oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the foil, and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
Now, wait patiently and let the amazing smell of noodles, melting cheese, the different spices, and nostalgia fill your home! Here’s how my lasagna looked when it was done cooking and out of the oven:
Unfortunately, due to being on the SCD, I was not able to taste my own masterpiece but my husband vouched that it was the best lasagna I had made to date.