Tuesday, September 23, 2008

my favorite lasagna

Thanks to my Everyday Food subscription, the perfect lasagna is only an hour away. I was feeling very restless and needed to do something with my hands - I didn't have the patience or attention for a craft project, but cooking a yummy meal is something I could do. Pair it with a salad, a baguette from Trader Joes, and a glass of red and ta-da, I'm a genius.
If you don't have the stomach for red meat (I can't handle a lot) or would like to cut a little off the cost, the eggplant is a welcome addition. I also read where someone added zucchini in place of the eggplant and said it was amazing.
"Healthier Meat Lasagna" from Everyday Food
6 whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 4 ounces total), broken in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small eggplant (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 pound ground sirloin
1 can (10.75 ounces) tomato puree
1 pint (1 percent) cottage cheese (2 cups)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (1 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella (2 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place noodles in an 8-by-8-inch baking dish, and cover with hot tap water; set aside to soften.

In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion, eggplant, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add sirloin, and cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomato puree, and cook until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Season meat sauce with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine cottage cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Remove noodles from baking dish, discarding water.

Spread about 1/4 cup meat sauce in bottom of dish, and top with 4 noodle halves. Layer with 1/3 cheese mixture, then 1/3 sauce. Repeat twice with remaining noodles, cheese mixture, and sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake until lasagna is bubbling and cheese topping is golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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