Luckily I was in the mood to cook that evening. Simply because the weekend before I had accidentally added a container of low fat cottage cheese to my basket of groceries. I couldn't figure out what I could do with the cheese and resorted to the ever reliable INTERNET and came across a simple lasagna recipe.
Hmmm! Would you believe that I have not made lasagna before. There is always the first time and my motto is "if you don't try, you'll never know!" I grabbed the remaining ingredients from a nearby supermarket after I knocked off from work.
Upon reaching home, I cleared up a bit of the apartment, fed my two "boys" (my two shitzus that is) and started preparing the lasagna. The original recipe called for an hour cooking time but I shortened it to about 45 minutes and it still came out nicely baked. The lasagna turned out absolutely yummy! My husband who loves pasta had 3 huge servings before he was fully satisfied. This is an absolutely simple recipe to follow and I've already made a note to add this to my year-end Christmas luncheon.
Cheesy Meat Lasagna
3/4 lb ground beef (you can substitute with minced chicken or pork)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 1/2 tsp mixed herbs
2 dried bay leaves
1 (26 ounce) bottle spaghetti sauce
1 can chopped tomatoes (drained)
1 (16 ounce) container low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
9 lasagna noodles, cooked, drained
1 1/2 cups grated reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated reduced-fat cheddar cheese
2 Tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Preheat oven to 375 F or 180 C. Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil until soften. Add in the minced meat and brown for about 5 minutes. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, bay leaves and herbs, mix all ingredients together and simmer for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
2) Add in the canned tomatoes and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from stove and set aside.
3) Mix egg, cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese and divide this into 3 portions. Spread a thin layer of the spaghetti sauce mixture onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish. Top with a layer of noodles, 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce mixture, 1 portion of the cottage cheese mixture and sprinkle with a layer of mixed mozzarella and chedder cheese. Repeat with another 2 more layers until you have 3 layers of lasagna. The top layer should be the sprinkle of mozzarella and chedder cheese.
4) Cover the baking dish with foil so as not to burn the lasagna during the initial cooking stage.
5) Bake for 30 minute or until heated through. Remove the foil and bake for a further 10 - 15 minutes. During the last few minutes of baking time you can shread some basil leaves and sprinkle on top of the lasagna.
6) Remove from oven and stand for 5 minute. Serve with sprigs of basil.