Wednesday, August 9, 2017

My Mom's Lasagna

Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around my mom's homemade lasagna.  We lived in North Carolina and Texas and our entire extended family lived in Canada and when they would come to visit my mom would always make her lasagna and when I smell lasagna I think about dinners with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins visiting from out of town.




Over the year's I've tweaked the recipe to fit my family's taste and love that my kids get excited when they see me prepping it.  I don't have an exact ingredient list since it can really be tailored to your preferences and the amount of food you're making.  On this day I made a HUGE lasagna that fed all of us for multiple nights (including my parents who came over for dinner), a regular sized lasagna that I froze and a bag of sauce that I froze for an easy school night meal.

- Step 1 -
Brown your meat with chopped onion and garlic.  I used 2 lbs of ground beef, 2 lbs of sausage, a whole onion and a bunch of minced garlic.







- Step 2 -
Once the meat is browned and drained throw in pasta sauce (homemade or jarred), diced tomatoes and tomato paste.  I did 4 jars of sauce, 3 cans of tomatoes and 1 can of paste (I typically will use 1 jar of sauce for every pound of meat)



If your family likes mushrooms you can throw those in at this point as well.  I chop them really big so that the kids can pick them out.


I was making a TON and so I ended up splitting it between two pots...



- Step 3 - 
Let the sauce simmer on low until your entire house smells amazing :)

- Step 4 -
Mix together cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and eggs.  This sounds bizarre.  But it's amazing.  With the giant pans I was making I combined 5 lbs cottage cheese with 5 eggs and whole bunch of grated parmesan and mozzarella.  You REALLY can't mess this up.  Throw in whatever you have in your fridge... I've used ricotta before and it's delicious as well.  Season it with salt and pepper, toss in some parsley and you're done!











- Step 5 -
Time to layer!  I use regular lasagna noodles and I DO NOT cook them ahead of time. 



My layers looked like this...

Sauce
noodles
cheese mixture
sauce
cheese mixture
noodles
sauce





- Step 6 -
Pour water in SLOWLY around the edges until it touches the top layer of noodles.  Cover it tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.





- Step 7 -
Remove the foil, top it with more cheese (mozzarella and parmesan) and put it back in the oven for 15 more minutes.


And it will come out looking like THIS!!!


It will be hot and bubbly and you'll want to let it "rest" for about 30 minutes before serving it.

I made a giant lasagna, made a second smaller one in a 9x13 dish and then bagged up this sauce to freeze.  I went ahead and baked the second lasagna the same way I did the first. When it was cool I cut it into large pieces and froze them individually in quart size ziplocks.  This way I can pull them out in the morning before I head to school, leave them in the fridge and just pop them in the microwave for dinner.   EASY!!!  The sauce I'll freeze, pull out in the morning and then use with plain pasta or cheese tortellini.




This is one of our favorite meals and I love making an extra large batch to have on hand for those busy Fall school nights.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

25 comments :

  1. Lasagna is mine and my husbands favorite! It looks so good.

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  2. And now, I want lasagna for breakfast.

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  3. I am pinning this one for later! Cannot wait to try it!

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  4. My mom's lasagna is one of my all-time favorite recipes too-so yummy! I'm sure you've answered this before, but where did your cute measuring cup come from? I love it!

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  5. YUMMY!!!!! Your recipe is very similar to how my mom & I make ours :) I have ALWAYS used cottage cheese instead of ricotta (I have never cared for ricotta). Now I'm craving lasagna!!! ;)

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  6. Lasagna is my favorite, and the weird guys I live with don't like noodles. What's a girl to do? Come grab an individual piece from your house I guess. ;)

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    1. Use zucchini or eggplant instead of noodles! Even with an Italian family, lasagna has never been one of my favorite pasta bakes but sssshhhh don't tell them that! I may be kicked out! I've never even made it! I do love vegetable lasagna though but I can't even call it lasagna to my very Italian mother! She scoffs ha!

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  7. I love lasagna too! I have a question...what is the water for? It doesn't make it to "liquidy" ? I'm definitely going to do the mushrooms next time. Thanks!

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  8. I am dieting right now, and have been on the look out for low sugar marinara sauces. I picked up an Organic one at the grocery store with 6 g sugar, but then I found the TJ's sauce with only 3 g! Their stuff is SO good! (I also just bought a blueberry facial scrub at TJ's that is WONDERFUL!) Thanks for the recipe!

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  9. This looks amazing! That's the best lasagna I've ever seen, and now I'm craving some with my morning coffee! :-) Yum.
    www.heidiwanderstheworld.com

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  10. Not cooking noodles, and pouring water over it ... my mind is BLOWN! Can't wait to try.

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  11. You're the only person I've seen use cottage cheese in lasagna besides myself. So yummy!

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  12. This looks SOOOO good!! I love lasagna!!

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  13. My mom always used cottage cheese in our lasagna, too!

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  14. Oh my goodness...I haven't made lasagna in so long. This looks DIVINE!!! (and that is one of the biggest casserole dishes I've ever seen😳😀)

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  15. These sounds amazing!! I love a good lasagna!

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  16. I have made a lot of your recipes and have loved every single one of them. Thanks again for another yummy recipe! My family is going to enjoy it!

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  17. I'll have to try this!
    On another note, from one middle school teacher to the next, when are you going too do a post on your new room? Excited for you!

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  18. I've never made lasagna, but have always wanted to try - especially now since it is my fiance's favorite Italian dish. This looks like a good recipe to try out. Thanks for sharing!

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  19. I use cottage cheese too, because my husband doesn't like ricotta!

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  20. This is basically the same recipe I grew up on for lasagna. However my mind is blown by the uncooked noodles and adding water. Will have to give it a try.

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