Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cook once, eat for days: Kathy's lasagna, slightly modified by Cindy

This recipe is known in my family as Kathy's Lasagna (Kathy being my aunt), but the version I make has a couple of slight modifications that originated in my mom's (Cindy's) kitchen. Hence the long blog title. But, whatever you call it, I'm told it's just about the best lasagna ever.
(I say "I'm told" because I don't technically eat noodles, so I don't technically eat this. But I still make this regularly because the Mr. loves it and even if we have friends over, he can eat on this for a couple more days which makes the week's cooking pretty easy. I'll often cook this and a homemade pizza for me on the same night and we can both eat leftovers for a couple of days. Win-win-win, as Michael Scott says. And, I might just be sharing my super easy hamburger pizza "recipe" next. If you can call something with so many convenience items as ingredients a recipe, that is.)
Kathy's lasagna, slightly modified by Cindy
1.5 lb ground beef
1-2 small handfuls of frozen chopped onions 

1 tsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp pepper  (or 1 tsp for a less spicy version)
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp crushed red pepper (or 1 tsp for a less spicy version)
1 tbsp garlic salt (or 1 tsp for a less spicy version)
1 box lasagna noodles (prepare according to package, or buy the ready-to-bake ones like I do)
2 - 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 large can petite diced whole tomatoes, undrained
1 lb Philadelphia cream cheese (whipped is easier to use; you'll just dollop it on)
1.5 lb mozzarella cheese
1 small can Parmesan cheese (you won't use the whole thing)
Start by browning the meat and onions. Add all seasonings, 2 cans of tomato sauce and whole tomatoes.  Simmer for at least 30 minutes. The longer it simmers, the better!
Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
In a disposable giant lasagna pan, layer noodles, layer meat, layer each cheese. Repeat with more noodles, meat and cheese. Make sure the cheese is spread all over the top of the dish to completely cover all noodles.
Bake until bubbly, about 25- to 35- minutes. (In my oven, it takes closer to 35- to 40- minutes. I should really pick up an oven thermometer, though... You'll be able to tell when it's done.)
It should look something like this:

This is one of those dishes that is just as good or better warmed up the next day (or a couple of days later) in the microwave. Cook once, eat for days!

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