Country Man’s Lasagna

Time: 1 1/2 hours

How do you get rid of blues? Get Rhythm and eat lasagna. This is our favourite recipe. Growing up in Northern Alberta, our local grocery store was a general store that sold clothes, food, etc. and specialty items, like ricotta or fresh basil were a rarity, so we had to improvise. As such, I grew up thinking it was pretty normal to eat lasagna with creamed cottage cheese… and now, that is how we still make it… But, we have updated it to include the fresh basil! I hope you enjoy the lasagna – it will chase the blues away. Enjoy Johnny and get your day going!

Music Selection: Johnny Cash – Get Rhythm

Ingredients:

10 long lasagna noodles

Water

Olive oil

1 (750 g) large container ricotta or creamed cottage cheese

2 cups fresh spinach or basil

1 cup fresh basil

1 Tbsp dried or fresh chopped oregano

1 Tbsp dried or fresh chopped basil

1 lb ground beef

optional: 1/4 cup red wine

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chopped onion

6 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 large can (28 oz) of tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

Salt/pepper

Directions:

In large pot, fill ¾ with hot water and several tablespoons of salt. Bring to boil. Add noodles and boil as per package – about 12 minutes. Remove noodles and toss with olive oil to keep from sticking.

In large casserole or lasagna pan, brush with olive oil. Pre-heat oven to 350 deg F.

In a separate pot, fry hamburger until light pink, then add in onions and garlic. Fry until onions are translucent. Add the can of tomato sauce, wine and ½ cup of water. Stir. Add in basil and oregano, plus salt/pepper to taste. Simmer until it thickens a bit.

In casserole, place 3 lasagna noodles side by side. Cut a fourth to fill in any space on pan.

Take ½ of meat mixture and evenly spread over noodles.

Lightly sprinkle ½ cup of parmesan cheese over the meat. Layer another row of noodles over the meat.

Then spread the whole container of ricotta/cottage cheese evenly.

Layer the basil over the cheese then layer the spinach over the basil.

Next, add a final layer of noodles, covering all spaces.

Cover with the remaining meat sauce.

Sprinkle remaining parmesan over it. Cover it all evenly with the grated mozzarella.

Place in oven (you may want a large baking sheet under it), and bake until it is bubbling and cheese starts to brown – about 30 – 45 minutes.

Serve with garlic toast and a fresh green salad!

I like to double this recipe and freeze one lasagna, wrapping it tightly several times in saran wrap!

I also like to bake this for breakfast – so I thaw it overnight and just bake it for 30 – 45 minutes. I sometimes will take the leftovers, cut it into individual helpings and wrap each in saran wrap, place all in a ziplock and keep for those busy nights or late night snacks to heat in the microwave! Actually, there never is left over lasagna… who am I kidding.

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