Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Big Ass Classic Lasagna

This ended up being the Last Supper of sorts, the final cheesetastic bomb before I abruptly turned to exercising and eating healthier. Fare thee well, piles of cheese, I may not see you for a while. It pains me to say it now, but this was reeeeeeeally good.


1/2 lb (250 g) lasagna noodles
1 pkg (300 g) chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups (500 mL) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup (50 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Meat Filling:
1/2 lb (250 g) Italian sausage
1/2 lb (250 g) ground beef
1 each onion, carrot, and celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) each dried oregano and basil
Pinch hot pepper flakes
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) tomatoes (not drained)
1 can (14 oz/398 mL) tomato sauce
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

Cheese Filling:
2 eggs
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
2 cups (500 mL) cottage cheese
1 cup (250 mL) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

Meat Filling: Remove sausage from casing; crumble meat. In Dutch oven, cook sausage and beef over medium-high heat, breaking up with back of spoon, for about 5 minutes or until no longer pink; remove to plate. Spoon off all but 1 tablespoon (15 mL) fat from pot.
Cook onion, carrot, celery, garlic, oregano, basil and hot pepper flakes, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and meat; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, breaking up tomatoes and stirring often, for 20 to 25 minutes or until thickened. Add pepper.

Cheese Filling: In bowl, beat together eggs, pepper and nutmeg. Blend in cottage cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan.
In large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles for 6 to 8 minutes or until almost tender. Drain and place in cold water. Arrange in single layer on damp tea towel.

Spread 1 cup (250 mL) of the meat filling as base in greased 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish. Top with one-third of the noodles in single layer; spread with one-third of the remaining meat filling. Spread with half of the cheese filling, then half of the spinach. Starting with noodles, repeat layers once.

Top with remaining noodles; spread with remaining meat filling. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover loosely with foil; bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
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