Totes-donkulous: a term my husband and I use to describe something ridiculously good or out of this world.
This lasagna happens to be just that. There really is not another way to describe it, it's the best lasagna I've ever had.
I came up with the recipe about a month ago when I got a hankering for lasagna and the result was well...totes-donkulous. It's so full of flavor on every layer and the even better part about it is that I cut some of the fat out that is usually in lasagna without sacrificing flavor one bit. This means you don't have to feel bad about eating it, which is good because you are going to want to make this on a regular basis after you try it. I have already made it twice...
You could easily serve this as your Christmas dinner or for another holiday dinner party. You can prep everything ahead of time and then just pop it in the oven whenever you are ready. No one wants to be stressing out in the kitchen with hungry people waiting and this way you look like a rock star with not a hair out of place.
It's comfort food at it's best. You know when you eat something that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Or is that just me? Anyway, this lasagna brings out those feelings. Perfect for the holidays!
- 1 LB Extra Lean Ground Beef
- 1 LB Hot Italian Sausage (you can use mild if you aren't big on spice)
- 1, 28 oz. Can of Diced Tomatoes
- 1 Cup Red Wine
- 2 Stalks Celery, finely chopped
- 2 Carrots, finely chopped
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Basil
- 1 Tsp. Dried Oregano
- Salt and Pepper
- 16 oz. Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Cup Low Fat Cottage Cheese
- 1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Eggs
- Ground Pepper
- Lasagna Noodles (about 3/4 of the box)
- 2 Boxes of Frozen Spinach or Fresh Spinach
- Sliced Mozzarella Cheese (almost a whole pack)
-For the sauce, you will want to first start by browning your meats together in a large skillet seasoning with salt and pepper. While the meat is browning, you will chop finely your celery, carrots, onion, garlic, parsley and basil (reserving a little parsley for garnish later.) If you prefer, you can also put all of the veggies in the food processor, except for the parsley and basil, to make it less work for you. Either way is fine. Once the meat has started browning, you will add you veggies and salt and pepper and sauté them all together until the veggies are tender, about 10 minutes.
-Next you will add your red wine to deglaze the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes until the wine has reduced some, and then add in your can of tomatoes along with more salt and pepper (I know this sounds like a lot, but you have to season each step, trust me.) Let the sauce simmer for a minimum of one hour. The longer it goes, the more flavor it will have. Do a taste test, and when satisfied, turn off sauce and let cool slightly. I could literally put this sauce in a bowl and eat it with a spoon!
-Bring a large pasta pot full of water to a boil. When water is boiling, salt your pasta water and add your lasagna noodles. Cook about 8 minutes to get desired consistency. Drain noodles and coat with olive oil to avoid sticking.
-The next step is to mix all of your cheeses, except for you sliced mozzarella together in a bowl with your eggs and pepper.
-Defrost your spinach and squeeze out all of the excess moisture.
-Get your baking dish (I use a 3 qt. Pyrex dish) and put one spoonful of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan to give a base for the noodles. Then the layering goes like this noodles, meat sauce, cheese mixture, and then spinach. You can usually get two layers of this until the casserole dish is full. I like to do one last layer of noodles on top and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese and then top with the slices of mozzarella cheese, and don't leave an inch without cheese. This creates the ultimate crust on the lasagna! It's sooo good.
-Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour until bubble and golden on top.
The filling is just the perfect balance of gooey cheese, amazing meat sauce, and spinach. It is divine!
True story, the first time I made this I woke up the next morning and ate a leftover piece for breakfast. I highly recommend it.
Tell me you are going to make this...you have to make this!
And when you do invite me over. I will bring wine.