Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and this dish is delicious proof of that.
I'm sure we all have foods that we ate as a child that bring back great memories or just make us feel warm and fuzzy inside to eat again. Many times, no other rendition of a dish can even compare to the way it was made by dear, sweet Madre. Other interpretations can still be delicious, of course, and maybe of even higher quality, but that wave of nostalgia is stronger than all that.
This recipe for lasagna is almost exactly how my mom made it when my brothers and I were growing up. It's irrefutably basic and frill-free, but I'm not exaggerating when I say that no lasagna I've eaten, whether at fancy restaurants or in the homes of others, tastes as good to me. I'll go ahead and share the recipe with you, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's nowhere near as good as your version (or your mom's)(or dad's!) is to you.
Incidentally, a half recipe of this lasagna fit perfectly into my 8x8-inch piece of Chinet Bakeware®, and I'm sure the 9x13-inch piece would've been ideal for the full recipe. As I've come to expect by now, the pan worked perfectly, and boy, was it satisfying to simply toss it into the trash when all the lasagna was consumed. In my experience, lasagna can contribute to some of the worst stuck-on goo in the world.
If you want a chance to try this useful Chinet Bakeware® out for yourself, leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite pasta-sauce combination. If your comment is randomly picked, you'll win a full set of pans! I'll leave the comments open for a week and close them next Monday, October 14th. Good luck!
Classic(ish) Carne Lasagne
(double for 9x13-inch pan)
- 1/2 box oven ready lasagna (such as Barilla)
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1/2 batch spaghetti sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Prepare the spaghetti sauce; it can be warm or cold when the lasagna is assembled.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8-inch pan (Chinet has one!) with non-stick spray.
Place a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan then cover it with two noodles. Spread some more sauce on top of the noodles, then spread out some cottage cheese on top of that. Repeat layers until you run out of room or ingredients. Make sure you have sauce on top covering all of the noodles so they don't get hard in the oven. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top. Spray a piece of foil with non-stick spray and cover the pan with it, spray side down (so the cheese doesn't stick).
Bake 35-45 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the lasagna is bubbly. Let the lasagna set for about 10 minutes before digging in.
Disclosure: While Chinet did provide me with a stipend and their terrific bakeware free of charge, the opinions in this post are all mine. I might be bribed, but I wasn't in this case.