Delicious, simple, and hearty, I make this rustic weeknight lasagna early in the week and we’re eating good until the middle of the week!
Lasagna has always been one of my favorite foods. In my mind, nothing brings the family together quite like the aroma of fresh baked lasagna topped with a blanket of golden cheese and threads of fresh basil. My favorite thing about this recipe is how delicious it is the next day. I love to cook up a batch of lasagna early in the week so Kenny and I can have dinner ready after a long day of work.
Luckily, neither of us mind leftovers and I serve this up with a different side dish every night to add variety. Two of our favorite compliments to this meal are Caesar salad and roasted asparagus.
This recipe is really hearty and I sometimes call it “double meat lasagna”. A small slice is quite satisfying so this is a really great dish to serve when hosting up to 6 hungry guests. Served with an appetizer and some vegetable sides you can even stretch this one dish to feed 8 people.
Kenny says this is “the best lasagna he’s ever had!” and I hope you and your loved ones enjoy it as well.
Kenny’s favorite lasagna. A rich, meaty entree that makes perfect leftovers and feeds at least 6 hungry people.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onions (finely diced)
5 cloves garlic (minced)
1 lb 85% lean ground beef
1 lb spicy Italian sausage, removed from it’s casing (if you don’t eat pork, leave out the sausage and double the beef)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
2, 28-oz can whole unsalted plum tomatoes
½ cup parsley (leaves only, chopped)
1 egg (beaten)
1 16oz tub whole milk cottage cheese
1 Cup grated parmesan
¼ Cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ Cup fresh basil, chopped
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
olive oil spray
1 package no-boil lasagna noodles
6oz shredded mozzarella cheese
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed shallow pot (or a dutch oven) over medium heat until the oil is shimmering but not smoking. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the oil and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until the onions are translucent and starting to brown, about 6 minutes.
Add the garlic to the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until very fragrant, about 1 minute.
If the bottom of the pan is turning too brown or starting to burn, deglaze the pan with water and continue to cook until the water evaporates.
Add the ground beef and sausage to the pan and increase the heat to high. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces as it cooks until the meat is no longer pink and the liquid has evaporated.
Add the rest of the salt, pepper, and tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomato paste is turning dark in color. Deglaze the pan with more water if it’s starting to burn.
Sprinkle the flour over the beef and cook, stirring frequently until no white spots remain, 3-5 minutes.
Add the cans of plum tomatoes and their juices to the pot and lower the heat to medium-low.
Allow the sauce to simmer over low heat while you break the tomatoes in half using a wooden spoon. You can also use clean kitchen scissors to quickly cut the tomatoes in half right in the pot.
Scrape the bottom of the pan often with a wooden spoon so nothing burns. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Add the chopped parsley and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes over medium-low heat.
While the sauce simmers, prepare the cheese layer:
In a large bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, salt and pepper until well combined – set aside.
Assemble the lasagna:
Spray a 13X9X2 casserole dish with olive oil spray to grease the bottom and sides of the dish.
Spread 1 Cup of the meat sauce (avoiding the big chunks of tomato) in the bottom of the casserole dish.
Place 1 even layer of noodles over the meat sauce in the dish, making sure not to overlap the edges (you can break noodles into pieces to make sure they fit the shape of the dish without overlapping).
Layer half of the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles, spreading it evenly over the noodles.
Spread ⅓ of the meat sauce (with tomato chunks) evenly over the cottage cheese layer.
Repeat layering of noodles, the rest of the cottage cheese, and ½ of the remaining meat sauce.
Lay one more layer of lasagna noodles and top with the rest of the meat sauce, making sure the edges of the noodles are covered.
Lightly spray a large sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover the lasagna.
Place the covered lasagna dish inside a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven on the middle rack.
Bake the lasagna, covered, for 30minutes.
Remove the foil and top the lasagna with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Put the lasagna back in the oven and cooking the lasagna uncovered until the cheese is melted and browned in spots. The sauce should also be hot and bubbling 20-25 minutes longer.
Remove the lasagna from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15-20 minutes at room temperature, top with basil and serve!
To store leftovers-cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days
To freeze – cover the unbaked lasagna with aluminum foil and double wrap with plastic wrap, freeze for up to 1 month – continue with baking instructions when you’re ready to enjoy the lasagna!