Before you start this recipe, please promise that at some point while making it you’ll stop and curse violently. It would make me feel better about myself.
I’m not saying this is hard…It’s pretty easy, actually. I just had to stop and curse at my lasagna noodles for sticking to the pan.
My mom has always used the lasagna recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook she got as a wedding present in 1979, so that’s what this is loosely based off of. I won’t post the original recipe here because…well, because I just don’t feel like it.
9 Regular lasagna noodles (use whole wheat if you like), no salt added diced tomatoes, 2 cans no salt added tomato sauce, garlic powder, parsley flakes, basil, salt substitute and onion. Let’s pretend oregano is also in this photo ’cause you’ll need that, too.
16 ounce container of fat free cottage cheese, shredded fat free mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. I used the parmesan and romano blend ’cause it was already in the fridge but you can use whatever variety you want. I give you my permission.
Brown your beef and about half of a large onion in a skillet with some garlic powder and salt substitute. I threw in some ground black pepper, too. I couldn’t tell you how much…Probably 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic and a teaspoon each of salt substitute and pepper.
Once it’s good and brown dump it in a strainer for a while… I like to also pour it (in two batches) onto a paper towel lined paper plate and press it with another paper towel to soak up even more grease.
The beef and onions go back into the pan with the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add in 2 tablespoons parsley, 1 teaspoon oregano, and about a teaspoon of salt substitute. You can also add a teaspoon of sugar at this point to cut the acidity of the tomato sauce. Get the mixture boiling, then turn it down to a simmer until it reduces to the consistency of spaghetti sauce. You might want to go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get a pot of water heating on the stove now, too.
Once your water’s boiling, cook the noodles according to package directions. I didn’t salt the water, but you could use the salt substitute here, too. Ok, honestly? I just forgot. This, by the way, is the part that made me curse because I didn’t use a big enough pot. Please use a giant pot so your noodles don’t stick, ok?
While your noodles are boiling, taste your meat sauce and adjust seasonings as needed. It should have reduced by now, so you’re safe to add a little more sugar or salt if you need it.
Once your noodles are done and the sauce has reduced to your liking you can start building the layers. I used 3 noodles per layer and I didn’t worry about covering the bottom of the dish or overlapping them. Spread about half of the meat sauce on the first layer.
Put three more noodles on top of the meat sauce, then spread all of the cottage cheese mixture on with a decent handful of the mozzarella cheese. Add the last three noodles, then spread the remainder of the meat sauce on top. Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese (and a little more mozzarella if you like), then put it in the oven for about 45 minutes.
Once you get it out of the oven, let it rest for a few minutes before you serve it.
Try it out and let me know what you think!
Do you know of a way to make this even healthier? Let me know in the comments or send an email to willfullydisobedientblog(at)gmail.com.