Herald Journal Columns
Sept. 30, 2002 Herald
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A lasagna recipe (for the rest of us)

By LYNDA JENSEN

I recently stumbled on a good recipe for lasagna that is worth sharing.

Actually, my sister verbally gave me the original recipe, of which I trimmed a bit and forgot some things, and so the recipe below is a result of this.

Remember, I'm a terrible cook. Lasagna is something I thought was out of reach ­ just too complicated for me.

But this recipe's so easy, it's. . .

Idiot Proof Lasagna

9 oz. of lasagna noodles

(or nine strips of them)

1 lb. of ground beef

Two jars of 27 oz. spaghetti sauce

24 oz. lowfat cottage cheese

16 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

16 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

My instructions:

Boil the lasagna noodles for about 15 minutes until they are limp.

While you are waiting for the noodles, take out a frying pan and lightly brown the ground beef.

If you feel like it, sprinkle one teaspoon each of basil, oregano, salt and pepper into the beef. Easy on the salt.

Don't feel terribly pressed to do this, because there are spices already in the spaghetti sauce. But if you happen to have an audience, then I recommend doing this because it will impress them.

(On the other hand, if you want to really wow your husband, use Italian sausage instead of beef. Warning: this will make it really spicy and your kids may not eat it).

Take out a cake pan and spray it with non-stick spray.

Stretch three noodles across the bottom.

Dump the beef into the pan, spreading it evenly.

Pour a whole jar of spaghetti sauce over it, making another layer.

Take the bag of cheese and dump it over the spaghetti, making another layer.

Put another layer of noodles on.

Take the cottage cheese and spread a layer there.

Put the second jar of spaghetti sauce over it.

Put another layer of noodles on.

Top the whole thing off with the mozzarella cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Don't forget the foil, or the cheese might burn on top.

Let it stand for a while before you cut it.

Yield: two suppers, two lunches, and about four school lunches. You will get a lot of mileage from it. In fact, it lasts so long that you'll probably end up freezing some of it because everyone will be sick of it.

But, it's delicious! It lasts a long time and fills you up. It's kind of like eating a block of concrete, because it sticks to your ribs. You won't feel hungry for another six hours.

Warning from the "terrible cook" department: don't put cheese on the bottom.

My husband laughed at me because I did this at first. "I don't know what goes on the bottom," he said. "But I know it's not cheese." Wise guy. I should have burned it on purpose.

Conversely, don't forget to put the mozzarella on top. It won't look like lasagna without it, and you will get baffled looks from people saying "What's that?"

The layers in between don't really matter, since it becomes a little messy and you can't tell anyway.

Quotes that are worth repeating

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being, hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.

-Erma Bombeck ..........................................................

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.

-Eleanor Roosevelt

..........................................................

In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man ­ if you want anything done, ask a woman.

-Margaret Thatcher


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