Who doesn’t love lasagna? It’s certainly a favorite in our house.
- 1/2 lb lasagna noodles (1/2 box)
- 1 lb ground meat (I used turkey), fully cooked
- 2-4 TBS oil
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 3 TBS garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 3 leaves kale, sliced thinly
- 2 leaves rainbow chard, sliced thinly
- Salt, pepper (a pinch of each)
- Fresh basil and oregano chopped (dried is okay, too)
- 2 cans spaghetti sauce
- 1 carton cottage cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2-4 TBS flour
- 1/2-1 cup mozzarella cheese
1. START NOODLES. Get a large pot of water on the stove to precook the lasagna noodles. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and wait until water comes to a boil.
2. COOK MEAT. While the water is heating up, cook the meat in a separate pan until no pink is showing. If you’re cooking beef, drain off any fat that remains.
3. START SPAGHETTI SAUCE. While meat is cooking, grab another pan, put it on the stove and drop in a couple tablespoons of oil. Turn the stove on MED-LOW. After about 30 seconds, add your diced onion and garlic. Stir and sauté for about two minutes and then add the carrots; cook for another couple minutes and then add the greens. At this point, pour a couple tablespoons of water into the pan to let the greens steam on LOW without having to add more oil (and to prevent burning). Put a lid on the pot and let them wilt for 5 minutes, watching them to make sure they don’t burn. Stir and/or add water if needed.
4. RETURN TO NOODLES. While veggies are simmering and meat is cooking (stir it if needed), pour noodles into boiling water and stir to prevent sticking (I had to break my noodles in half to allow them to fit in the pot). Put a timer on 8 minutes to make sure noodles don’t overcook.
5. MAKE CHEESE SAUCE. Before doing this step, check on the veggies and give them a little stir. They should be wilting nicely but not turning too brownish. Turn off the heat if you feel like they’re cooking too much. …In a separate bowl, mix the cottage cheese, beaten egg, flour and cheese and set aside for a moment.
6. RETURN TO SPAGHETTI SAUCE. To the veggies add 2 cans spaghetti sauce, the cooked meat, fresh herbs (basil and oregano) and salt and pepper. Simmer on LOW for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
7. FINISH NOODLES. At this point your noodles will probably be done (it’s okay if they’re still a bit stiff since we’ll be putting this dish in the oven for 1 hour). Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water to prevent them from sticking together and to make them easier to handle.
8. FINISH SPAGHETTI SAUCE. Your sauce is probably finished, so you can turn off the heat and give it a stir and a sniff. (Mmmm — doesn’t it smell luscious?!)
9. ASSEMBLE THE LASAGNA. Now — finally — you’re ready to assemble your lasagna. Spray a 13×9 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Then pour enough sauce to barely coat the bottom of the pan.
Proceed with a layer of noodles, then cheese sauce (1 1/2 cups), noodles, spaghetti sauce, noodles, cheese sauce etc. until you get to the top. You’ll want to end with the spaghetti sauce, so ration it as you go along. Finally, you’ll top off the casserole with 1 1/2 -2 cups of mozzarella cheese. You might have some spaghetti sauce leftover but you can either freeze it or refrigerate it for another dish :)
Bake your lasagna covered with aluminum foil (spray the underside of the foil) and place the pan on a cookie sheet with a lip (because it WILL bubble over and burn in your oven and make the kitchen smoke and the fire alarm go off! Haha). Bake for 30 minutes on 350°F. Then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes. The lasagna should be very bubbly and slightly crispy on top when it’s finished. Bake at 5 minute increments longer if you don’t think it’s quite finished.
Enjoy with a salad and/or homemade rolls!!