Friday, April 22, 2011

(Fast and Easy) Lazy Mom "Almost" Lasagna

Last night at 5 o'clock I found myself standing in the middle of my kitchen, staring blankly at my stove, wondering what I on earth I was going to make for dinner. My kids had to be out the door for a movie date with Grandma by 6:15, and I had nothin'. I knew I had a pound of ground beef defrosted in the fridge, and that was about it. In such a case, I usually go to our old standy, spaghetti, but I'd already made spaghetti this week, so that wasn't going to work. The next thing that came to mind was lasagna, but that just takes too darn long. If only I could make something like lasagna that was fast and easy: no messing with the long noodles and making all those layers and mixing up all the cheeses. I do have a recipe for lasagna that uses uncooked noodles, but at that moment, even that seemed like too much work. I needed EASY!  So I came up with this fast and easy lasagna bake. I call it:

Lazy Mom " Almost" Lasagna
by Machelle Littlefield

makes 6-8 servings

1 lb ground beef
2 jars spaghetti sauce
2 c. cottage cheese
parmesan cheese
2 eggs
shredded cheese
16 oz. noddles (macaroni, shells, penne, whatever)

     Put your noodles onto boil. I used Penne Rigate. Don't let the fancy name fool you...It was a $1.00 box of noodles from Walmart. Anything would really work here...macaroni, shells, whatever. Brown 1 lb of ground beef. Pour the 2 jars of sauce in with the cooked beef. We like it pretty saucy, so two may be too much for you.
     In a separate bowel, put about 2 cups cottage cheese and blend until smooth. I use a stick blender for this. Throw in 2 eggs, and about 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, and blend well. I added some italian seasoning blend, onion salt, and parsley flakes. Grate some cheese. I used colby jack, because that's what was in the fridge. Something with mozzerella or jack melts best, but whatever you have on hand will be perfect.
     Once your noodles are done, drain them, and pour half of them in a 9x13 pan. Top with half of the meat sauce, and all of the cottage cheese mixture. Add the rest of the noodles, meat sauce, and top with the shredded cheese. Throw it in to the oven at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted.
     The kids loved it and my picky hubby had about 4 helpings.  He actually said he better not have more because "his stomach felt like it was going to explode."

Now, as I'm typing this recipe, I realize that in this version I DID make a cheese mixture and create layers (so I don't know what all my complaining was about earlier. ) All I know is that I avoid making regular lasagna because it just feels like too much work, but this recipes really felt like I threw it together in a jif. So give it a try, and let me know what you think!

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