Friday, April 25, 2008

What's For Dinner--2nd Edition

I love lasagna. Who doesn't, right? I have a few different recipes that I alternate because of the different ingredients. I found this particular recipe on one of my favorite sites: This particular variation grabbed my attention because the title contains my mom's name: Linda's Lasagna. (Click on the link for the recipe exactly how "Linda" makes it.) This one also appealed to me because it instructs you how to make your own sauce--as opposed to the bottled kind. It is a delicious sauce that is easy to make and that can be used in place of bottled spaghetti sauce in any recipe. I also prefer cottage cheese over ricotta in lasagna. I know you die hard Italian cooks out there think that is a big no-no, but I am not crazy about the texture of ricotta cheese. I also tweaked the recipe just a little by using ground sausage instead of ground beef (not going for the "light" version here). And I didn't do it this time, but I like to add spinach to the cheese mixture as well.

Linda's Lasagna


  • 1 pound lean ground sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • 12 ounces cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 10 oz package of frozen spinach-thawed and drained (optional)

  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage until brown. Drain. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onion until translucent. Combine beef and onion in the large saucepan with tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, water, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour.
  2. While sauce is simmering, blend cottage cheese, Parmesan and egg until smooth. Stir in spinach. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  5. Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover sauce with 3 noodles. Cover noodles with one-third of remaining sauce. Top with half the mozzarella. Place another layer of noodles and one of sauce over the mozzarella; top that with the cottage cheese mixture. Top with remaining 3 noodles and remaining sauce.
  6. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top and bake 15 minutes more, until golden and bubbly.

As you can see I've added my standard green salad and a couple of slices from a French baguette.

For dessert are Mom's Buttermilk Cookies. I'm not sure whose mom, but she makes some fine cookies. I found this recipe years ago in my Quick Cooking magazine (now known as Simple and Delicious--LOVE this magazine).

Mom's Buttermilk Cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, optional


    In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
    For the frosting, combine butter, confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Frost the cookies; sprinkle with chopped walnuts if desired. Yield: 3 dozen.

    These are so good. It's easy to leave the nuts off for those picky people (Savannah), or let the little people (Haven was VERY helpful "making with mommy") sprinkle any fun colorful thing on top (preferably something edible). They are very soft and kind of melt in your mouth. And check out the plate I made at The Artful Potter! Good times.


    Natalie said...

    That lasagna was so delicious. I think I will try and make it one of these days. Lasagna is very intimidating to me. Well, any recipe with lots of ingrediants and instructions for that matter. The buttermilk cookies are to die for. I seriously can eat (and have) 10 in one sitting. I want some right this second. Thanks for the recipes.

    Jaime Stephens said...

    yum can I come eat please?

    Aivaz Family said...

    You are so cute. You make cooking look like its actually easy and enjoyable. I know better though. I love you.

    Linda said...

    Man, I want some of those cookies right now! And the lasagna I will for sure be making that in the near future. Maybe I'll divide it up and freeze one for me and Jim for another night! I love your plate, will you make me one? I'll send you the money!

    Love you!

    Hacking it up said...

    Dang! Those cookies look good! The lasagne does too! I really should get back to cooking from scratch more...