Mish, in the ravioli/wonton filling post, asked for our favorite fillings for ravioli, manicotti, lasagna, and other fillable foods. I posted the following recipe. It has a lot in it and is very tasty, but a bit more involved. Hope you like it. Oh, and shredded Muenster cheese makes a great substitue for cottage cheese that's used in this recipe. The cooked texture is more like that of a good mozzarella, but with a sweeter, more dairy-like flavor, and not as salty.
Classic Lasagna in my household goes something like this:
2 lbs. ground beef, browned
1/2 lb. medium cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 lb. mozarella or muenster cheese, shredded (depends on my mood)
16 oz. container, large-curd cottage cheese
2 cans sliced black olives
1 yellow onion, diced
3 - 12 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 - 12 oz. can tomato paste
16 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 tbs. EVOO
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 & 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1/2 tsp. ground rosemary
1 tsp. sweet basil
3 bay leaves
2 packages whole wheat lasagna noodles
Lightly brown the mushrooms, garlic and onions in the olive oil over medium heat in a three quart sauce pan. Add the tomatoe sauce and herbs. Simmer for about 20 minutes while you grate the cheeses and open the olives, get your lasagna pan out, etc.
While the sauce is cooking, place the noodles into a large pot and cook for about 7 minutes. Then drain and cool.
When the sauce is done, ladle enough of it, without the mushrooms, into the lasagna pan to cover the bottom. Place enough noodles on the pan bottom to cover. Spoon on sauce to cover, followed by an even sprinkling of cheeses, including the cottage cheese, and black olives. Try to get the chunky parts evenly distributed. Lay on more noodles and repeat. Finish with a layer of noodles, tomato sauce with no chunks, and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese.
Of course you can substitute Italian sausage for the ground beef, and ricotta for the cottage cheese. You can do it any way you like. But this is our favorite lasagna recipe. With my pan, I can go five layers thick.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 325 for 45 minutes. If you want, you can skip the pre-cooked noodles part and make the sauce very soupy. The past will absorb the excess liquid and cook until tender, absorbing the sauce flavors. After the 45 minutes has elapsed, remove the foil and allow the top to brown just a bit. Serve with bruschetta and a good , leafy salad.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
"There is no success outside the home that justifies failure within the home."