Helpful Hint - Lasagna

One thing my blog friends may not know about me is: I LOVE to cook. I started watching the Food Network a few years ago and have been cooking up a storm since then. I ask for things like chopping knives and cookware sets for birthdays and Christmas (not what the typical 21 year old is requesting, I'm sure). And I just realized cooking is a part of me that I haven't shared very much on my blog. So I'm going to make a conscious effort to include more foodie posts. Recently I have found myself slowing down in the kitchen due to food prices on the rise and other factors restricting my budget. It is expensive to cook y'all!

In this crazy economy I have found it extremely helpful to make a big dish at the beginning of the week and eat from it all week long. One of my favorite dishes to make (and honestly does last all week...sometimes even longer) is lasagna. This recipe came from a cookbook my mom has, but I have made some changes. I really like the sauce, so naturally I have adapted the recipe to make more...but if you aren't so much of a sauce person, take some out. Also, I am IN LOVE WITH garlic. I put more in my recipe than I have written here, but I won't divulge exactly how much because it might actually frighten you - adapt that part to your liking as well.


1 lb. hot sausage
4 cloves garlic minced (or can use handheld grater - works like a charm!)
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can tomato paste
2 tbl. dried basil

Cheese Filling:
24 oz. container cottage cheese
2 tbl. parsley flakes
2 eggs
3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

10 lasagna noodles
2 8oz. packages sliced Mozzarella cheese

You Will Need:
Large pot for cooking noodles
Large/deep skillet for sauce
5 qt. baking dish

To Make:
Start by browning the sausage completely. While you are waiting for the sausage to brown, mix all cheese filling ingredients in a bowl and set in fridge until ready to use. Drain off excess oil. Add garlic, saute for 30 seconds (don't burn!) then add all tomato products, basil and S&P. Let simmer 30 minutes.

When the sauce begins to simmer, start to boil the water for the noodles. Salt the water when it comes to a boil and add the 10 noodles. You can add a couple more noodles here just for back-up, but I have never needed them.

When noodles are cooked and sauce has simmered for 30 minutes, you are ready to assemble.

To Assemble:
1st layer 3 noodles on the bottom of the baking dish. Put 2 noodles over the seams between the first layer of noodles. Layer 1/2 of the refrigerated cheese mixture on top. Put 1/3 of the sauce mixture on top of that. Next, layer one package of sliced mozzarella. Repeat process. You will have 1/3 of the sauce left to put on top of the second package of sliced mozzarella.


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