Somedays, you channel your inner Italian

A couple Sunday’s ago, I was having one of those super domestic days that I have inherited from my mother.  After baking the cookies for Angela and delivering them to her parents house for their trip to Holland, I came home and decided to make a lasagna, and some pesto, because we had a giant basil plant from the farmer’s market that was not fairing well.

The house smelled fantastic, our bellies were full, there was finally some emergency lunches in the freezer, the only sad thing, was that it was Sunday, and that meant another week at work was around the corner.

Family Favourite Lasagna

3/4 lb extra lean ground beef
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (19 oz) can tomato’s, undrained
1 cup water
1 (5.5 oz) can tomato paste
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
9 lasagna noodles
2 cups 1% cottage cheese
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

Cook beef until browned, pour off fat, add onions and garlic, cook until soft.  Add tomato’s, breaking up with fork.  Add water, tomato paste, oregano and basil; bring to boil.  Reduce heat to thicken, pepper to taste, add 1 tsp sugar if too acidic.

Cook noodles to al dente.

Combine cottage cheese, mozzarella, egg and half of the parmesan.

Cover bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish sparingly with some tomato sauce, top with layer of lasagna noodles.  Cover with half the cheese mixture.  Repeat with remaining sauce, noodles and cheeses to make 3 layers of each; then a final layer of sauce.  Sprinkle with remaining parmesan.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 40 minutes.  Remove and let stand for 5 – 10 minutes.

Source: Mom’s kitchen, that’s where all the best recipes come from.

Since this had to be in the oven for close to an hour, and I was procrastinating cleaning the house, I started in on the pesto.

Homemade Fresh Pesto

2 to 3 garlic cloves
4 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (I left these out, have you seen how expensive they are?!?!)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Drop the garlic through the spout of a food processor (or blender) while it is running.  If you like garlic, add more, we like garlic, I used 5 cloves.  Add basil, pine nuts, cheese, lemon juice and salt.  Pulse until finely chopped.  With motor still running, gradually add oils.  If using a blender, slowly add oils, stopping after every couple tablespoons to scrape down the sides with a spatula.

Pesto will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.  Or freeze it in an ice-cube tray and store the frozen-pesto cubes in a resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Source: Chatelaine Magazine, June 2010


3 thoughts on “Somedays, you channel your inner Italian

      • LOL, no kidding, but my mom doesn’t make healthy lasagna 😦 So I was looking for something on that end, although I don’t think that actually exists and I like to try new things. I’ve never been a big fan of lasagna anyways. I still haven’t tried this one out yet, I have become so addicted to cooking books that I have been making a new recipe almost every day for the past month lol and probably have enough to get me through to next summer.

        How are you enjoying Newmarket?

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