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May 7, 2012 / staceyj

Mama’s Lasagna

Meet my mom.  This picture was taken over 30 years ago before I was even a twinkle in her eye.  She’s the young lady in the middle surrounded by my dad (I think those glasses are actually back in style), my uncle and my grandma.  Isn’t she just lovely?  My mom has spent her entire adult life teaching.  Whether she was teaching in a classroom, in our home, in a room full of ladies hoping to change their lives, or on a stage she was making an impact, making the world a better place.  And most certainly making my world a better place.  You are amazing and interesting and loving and challenging and passionate and funny and beautiful.  I love you Mom.

In honor of all the wonderful moms in my life, I decided to spend this week featuring a few of my own mom’s recipes.  My very favorites.  The recipes that I’m always requesting, replicating and rejoicing over!  First up?  (My) Mama’s Lasagna.  Bad haircut followed by an even worse perm?  Lasagna.  My friends are coming over for a sleepover?  Lasagna!  Exhausted college student needing laundry, a nap and a homemade meal?  Lasagna!!  Even more exhausted mom just wanting someone else to cook something delicious?  Lasagna please.

Ingredient List
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
9 or 10 lasagna noodles
1 can tomato sauce (15 0z.)
1 can tomato paste (12 oz.)
12 oz. cottage cheese
1 egg
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
8 0z. mozzarella cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick spray.

In a medium sauce pan, combine ground beef, Italian seasoning,

ground pepper,

garlic powder,

and salt.  Cook thoroughly.

Sniff the air occasionally and declare “Italy has arrived!”  OK.  So that may be  a ’tish presumptive but that doesn’t mean you have to stop sniffing.

Meanwhile, cook the lasagna noodles according to package instructions.  This recipe calls for 9 noodles: 3 layers with 3 noodles each.  I usually cook at least one extra noodle just in case breakage happens.

Add the tomato sauce…

…and the tomato paste to the beef mixture.  Allow it to simmer for five minutes so the mixture can thicken.

Drain the noodles and watch the steam envelop the tiny, plastic dinosaur that lives on your kitchen sink.

I like to add a little oil to my noodles so they don’t get all frisky and stick together.  I don’t know about you but I prefer my noodles to be young and single and interesting.

Combine the cottage cheese and the Parmesan.  According to my mom, this is what makes this lasagna so special; where the magic happens.  She’s a very wise woman.  Submit to the cottage cheese knowledge.

Add the egg.

Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper.  Pure. dairy. magic.

Make your lasagna assembly line: noodles, beef/tomato mixture, cottage cheese magic, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.  Take a brief moment to admire your ability to organize and make a mental note to apply these same skills to your chaotic pantry.

Let the layering begin my friends.  First up: the noodles.

Second?  The tomato and beef mixture.

Third?  The cottage cheese awesomeness.

Next, cheddar cheese.

And last?  Add the mozzarella.  The cheese family cannot complain about under-representation in this dish.

Repeat two more times.

Seriously, this dish looks good enough to eat and it isn’t even cooked yet!  Trust me.  You are going to want to wait.  Ingesting raw egg probably isn’t the best idea you’ve had today.

Cook for 40 to 45 minutes.  Pull out of the oven and then behold this masterpiece.  One bite and you’ll forget all about that bad perm.  I promise.

Then head out to shop for all the mothers in your life and garlic bread.  You are going to need garlic bread.

Abundant blessings, Stacey

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Teenie Bird / May 8 2012 8:26 am

    Have always loved the Divine Miss M, but she makes lasagna, too?!? A woman who clearly knows the way to my heart! Beautiful tribute, Stace.

    • staceyj / May 8 2012 3:04 pm

      Thanks sweetie. Miss M. is a surprise a minute and her lasagna is seriously awesome.

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