Monday, April 30, 2012

rainy day lasagne

I decided to make lasagne today a few days ago.  I was worried it would be too hot out and it wouldn't be a great dinner.  (warm oven hot day yuck)  Turns out it is a perfect day!

Here is the 'recipe' for " My (dutch) moms meat lasagne"

I say 'recipe' in quotes because I learned by watching her, not by anything written down.  I've also tweaked it from how she does it too...


a sploosh of olive oil
one small onion, diced
several cloves of garlic, chopped/crushed/pressed/grated
half to one pack of ground beef
tsp or so dried basil, or oregano or majorim
a good sprinkle of cayenne pepper (we liked it spicy)
oh...a cup or 2 of mushrooms, sliced
one small/medium zucchini, grated
half to one green, red, yellow or orange sweet pepper chopped (I don't like peppers, so I don't add them, but my mom always made the peppers bigger so I could pick them out and put them on her plate, although with lasagne, it was hard, so I got them down ok)
can of whole, or puréed tomatoes (if whole, blend with a blender mom used to blend the garlic here, instead of chop it up)
tub of cottage cheese
one egg
pack of baby spinach, or bag of spinach, or pack of frozen spinach
9 lasagne noodles
half a big block mozzarella cheese, grated

-heat olive oil in a medium pot, medium heat, add onions and garlic, and cook a little, until fragrant
-add ground beef and spices and cook 'til done
-add mushrooms, zucchini and peppers and cook for a few minutes
-add can of tomatos
-bring to boil and turn down to second lowest to simmer until mushrooms are cooked

-boil water for noodles.  cook until el dente.
-put spinach into colander and poor noodles and cooking water on top to wilt spinach.  (my mom boiled water, and wilted the spinach separately, but this saves time and energy and water)
- pour cold water over noodles and spinach
- put cottage cheese in bowl and add egg (the egg holds it all together), stir in cooled wilted spinach.

- in a deep rectangle baking pan, put a thin layer of sauce, layer on 3 noodles
-add cottage cheese mix, and 3 more noodles
-a thick layer of sauce, and 3 more noodles
-evenly spread grated mozzarella

At this point you can refrigerate it, or if in an aluminium pan, freeze it.  Or turn the oven on to 350 let it heat up and pop it in until you feel it's done...yea, I go by smell, half an hour to an hour?  make sure the egg is cooked in the cottage cheese layer.  Turn the oven to broil and brown the top.

The most important and hardest part is LET IT SIT!  It needs to gel again.  Kinda like allowing meat to sit.

(pics to follow once it's out of the oven...I didn't think to write this post until it was too late!)

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