Thursday, October 29, 2009

Once A Month Cooking Spaghetti Sauce

Last night we had lasagna for dinner with sauce prepared from page 20 of the Once a Month Cooking book. This is my new go to sauce for spaghetti and lasagna. I did change the recipe a bit and added 1 pound of ground beef in addition to the pound of bulk Italian sausage since we like meaty sauces--and it was excellent. I also browned the meat, drained it and put all the ingredients in my slow cooker to simmer overnight, which made it even easier and added a slow simmered flavor.

With the sauce prepared, I put one cup of sauce on the bottom of a generously buttered 9"x13" baking pan and covered that with a layer of dried lasagna noodles.

Why dry? Doesn't the package say boil until tender? Well, yes it does, but let me let you in on a secret. First, boiling the noodles is a pain and a step I don't have the patience for. I always tear the soft noodles. Since the noodles are going to be covered with sauce, then cooked in a covered pan, they will be tender when it is time to pull the dish out and not soggy. The dried noodles will absorb any excess liquids during the cooking process, which cuts down on the possibility for a soggy entree. Second, you might have to break up the noodles to cover any bare spots. One thing I discovered was the corners of my pans were rounded, which made a 1/4 " gap if I tried to lay the noodles in it. So I snapped of a little of the corner of the noodles at the edge and they tucked into the rounded corners perfectly. Play with it to make it work for you,

Next, put a layer of sauce over the noodles. Mix together 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of small curd cottage cheese (trust me on this--it is good). layer it on top the sauce, then put a layer of dried noodles over that, with another layer of sauce. repeat this to make the lasagna as thick as the pan. Make sure the last layer of noodles are completely covered with sauce, then cover and put in a 350 degree oven for approx 45 minutes. Test noodles to see if they are done by putting a knife into a noodle. If it offers no resistance, the dish is done. Take it out and let it sit for 15 minutes so it is easier to slice and serve.

Serve with french bread, salad and fruit. YUM!

No comments: