Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Diva's Lasagna

So why is this lasagna different than other lasagnas, you may ask yourself? What makes this a Diva Lasagna? Well, first of all, I use a poblano pepper in my meat sauce to give it that spicy kick that we all need once in a while, and I combine sirloin with turkey just so that I feel it's slightly healthy. The biggest difference is that the meat sauce is not entirely tomato-ey in flavor and I just love the combination of ricotta and cottage cheese; so when you bite into the lasagna, you can taste the meat but especially the cheesiness of it all!

INGREDIENTS (serves 8 to 10)

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1/4 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) canned diced tomatoes with juice
  • Lasagna noodles (about 9 noodles)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (16-ounce) carton cottage cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) carton ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup cup fresh parsley, divided
  • 1 bag (2 cups) shredded cheese, such as Italian or pizza blend
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

In large skillet, add olive oil and saute onions over medium heat for two minutes. Add the diced poblano pepper and saute another minute. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about another minute. Add ground beef and ground turkey and brown until beef is no longer pink (about 10 minutes); drain well. Add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain (I cook my noodles very al dente).

Preheat oven to 350*F (175*C). Lightly grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine egg, cottage and ricotta cheeses, and remaining parsley; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread a very thin layer of meat sauce at bottom of baking pan. Then add a layer of 3 noodles in prepared baking pan. Spread with 1/3 of cottage cheese mixture, then 1/3 layer of meat sauce, then 1/3 layer of shredded cheese. Repeat with second layer. Third layer end with remaining cottage cheese mixture, meat sauce and remaining shredded cheese. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes covered with foil; then for another 15 minutes, uncovered. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Divalicious!

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