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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Easy Lasagna

On a recent trip to a grocery store we tried a cooked sample of bulk chicken basil sausage, and we thought it tasted very good, so we purchased a pound planning to use it for lasagna.  My wife first made this lasagna recipe eighteen years ago.  The original recipe is from her Set for Life cookbook by Jane P, Merrill and Karen M. Sunderland.

Set for Life: Eat More, Weigh Less, Feel TerrificIngredients:
   1-pound sausage meat or lean ground beef
   1 medium onion chopped
   1 package spaghetti sauce mix
   2 cans stewed tomatoes (15 ounce)
   1 can tomato sauce (15 ounce)
   1 can tomato paste (6 ounce)
   1 1 /2 cups water
   1-package lasagna noodles
   1 egg, slightly beaten
   1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
   2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
   2 cups low fat cottage cheese (1 pound)
   1 /4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

A subsequent trip to the store was necessary to purchase the lasagna noodles and some of the different cans of tomato sauce, and then I was ready to cook.

I made the lasagna this afternoon and I started by chopping a medium white onion and putting the pieces in a large skillet.  I added the sausage meat, turned the heat to medium, and cooked the sausage until it browned.  I drained the sausage and returned it to the skillet where I added the package of spaghetti seasoning, water, and the cans of tomatoes.  I simmer the meat and tomato mixture for fifteen minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.

I cracked the egg into a small mixing bowl and lightly beat it with a fork.  Into the bowl, I added the Parmesan cheese, parsley flakes, and the cottage cheese and stirred it all together.

I got out our large 9 x 13 inch glass Pyrex baking pan and ladled about two cups of the sauce into the bottom.  I place a layer of the noodles over the sauce and then spread half the cheese mixture over the noodles.  I repeated this process of sauce, noodles, and cheese and then added the last of the sauce over the top.

I covered the pan with foil and place it in the center of our oven at 350 degrees for an hour to cook.  After about forty-five minutes, we could smell something burning and when I checked, the sauce had bubbled over the sides of the pan onto the bottom of the oven.  I can see that tomorrow I have to run the oven through a cleaning cycle.  I put a cookie sheet under the pan to catch any remaining spillage and let the lasagna finish baking.

Once the time was up and the noodles were soft, I removed the lasagna from the oven and let it rest on top of the stove for ten minutes before adding the grated mozzarella cheese to the top.

We enjoyed our lasagna for dinner with some leftover vegetables.  The sausage and the stewed tomatoes added all the spices that were necessary.  We could taste the fennel and basil in the sausage, but it was not overpowering.  The lasagna was a little soft due to the high moisture content, but my wife said that it will be perfect tomorrow when the noodles absorb more of the liquid.  I wasn’t able to get a picture of my serving, because it fell apart as I moved it to my plate, oh well maybe next time.

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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