He might not do a lot of cooking. He might not be Italian. He might not make all the elements of the recipe from scratch. But my dad makes the world’s best lasagna.
I thought it would be fun to share some of my family’s favourite, most delicious recipes as part of this year’s 12 Posts of Christmas and the first recipe is my dad’s lasagna. He usually only makes his lasagna about once a year and usually it’s around Christmas. It’s meaty, cheesy and, best of all, vegetable free. That’s my kind of Italian food! 🙂
– 750 mL cottage cheese
– 1 package Italian sausage meat, mild or hot, depending on your taste (I use Johnsonville hot Italian sausage meat
– 1 pound of ground beef
– 750 grams Mozzarella
– 250 grams Pecorino Romano
– 250 grams Parmesan
– about 1.2 L of tomato sauce
– 1 box of no boil, ready to cook Lasagna Noodles
– Olive Oil
1. In a large skillet, add a small drizzle of olive oil. Then, add in the ground beef and Johnsonville Italian sausage meat.
2. Cook until the meat is cooked through and lightly browned.
3. Add in the tomato sauce and and about half a cup of water. Let the meat sauce simmer for about 15 minutes.
4. While the sauce is simmering grate your mozzarella, pecorino and parmesan.
5. Spray a large 9″ x 14″ pan with cooking spray.
6. Depending on what type of lasagna noodles you are using, prepare the noodles for the lasagna. Follow the instructions on the box.
7. Now, start building your lasagna. Start with a base layer of sauce. Then start layering: noodles, cottage cheese, sauce with meat, mozzarella, pecorino and parmesan. Depending on how deep your pan is, you will probably be able to do 2 or 3 layers. Finish off with a thick layer of mozzarella, pecorino and parmesan.
8. Bake, covered, in the oven for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Again, the time will change depending on what type of lasagna noodles you are using, so be sure to check the noodle box.
9. For the last 15 minutes, remove the tin foil and bake un-covered until brown and bubbling. Use the broiler if you want to get the cheese extra crispy and brown! Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.
My dad has a couple of big “secrets” for his recipe. The first is that he uses Cottage Cheese, rather than the traditional Ricotta…. and the main reason for that is just because he likes Cottage Cheese better. 🙂 Well, that’s as good a reason as any, I think! But actually, Cottage Cheese seems to melt into the lasagna better, where as ricotta sometimes seems to almost leave a gritty texture.
The second is that he uses Pecorino Romano cheese and Parmesan cheese rather than just one or the other. Two types of cheese is better than one!
This lasagna is really, really tasty and it was so much fun making this with my dad. As great as it can be to make everything from scratch sometimes, I think it’s also nice to have some really delicious recipes in your repertoire that are a little easier to make. I mean, really, this lasagna was so simple to put together, especially because we were using the oven ready lasagne noodles. We also ended up making a double recipe, which meant that I got my own little lasagna to take home with me too! Yum!