This isn’t just lasagna–it’s hearty lasagna. Bursting with mushrooms, spinach, onions, peppers, lean organic beef, cheese and tomato sauce, and packed between whole-wheat lasagna noodles, this plate packs a punch. In the best way possible.
There were a few reasons I wanted to make a huge and slightly extravagant casserole like this last Sunday night. A neighbour has just had a baby, and I wanted to take over a dish that would really feed her other kids–for at least one night. Because there is nothing more useful to a new mom than food. Surely I wasn’t the only one who thought that! So in making her family a lasagna, it was only natural to double the recipe and make two HUGE lasagnas to feed us all.
Plus that afternoon was kind of dark and spooky with a big thunderstorm going on–and there is nothing as good as holing up in the kitchen with a big project when it’s like that outdoors.
And this recipe really worked. The rich cheese and meat combined with the flavourful vegetables and tomato sauce just made for a crowd-pleaser. Which is why I must write it down, so I finally have an excellent lasagna recipe at the ready!
- about 12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions
- 1 500g tub of 2% cottage cheese
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 700mL jar of pasta sauce (about 3 cups)
- 1 lb lean organic beef
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1 10oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and with excess moisture squeezed out
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped; divided
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced; divided
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- cooking spray
- Cook and drain the pasta noodles. Set aside. (If they stick together later when you’re assembling, run them under water.)
- In a large bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, eggs, mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Over medium-high heat, in a frying pan coating with cooking spray, saute the mushrooms and peppers with the dried basil until softened, using only half of the onion and half of the garlic. Remove vegetables and place into a bowl. Mix in your spinach.
- When your frying pan is cool enough, give it a wipe and reheat it over medium-high heat. Saute the other half of the onion and garlic, and crumble in the organic beef. Cook until the beef isn’t pink anymore, about 6 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350 F. Lightly cook a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Layer about 3/4 cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan, and then line with one layer of noodles. Then add another 3/4 cup of tomato sauce, and half of the white sauce. Add in half of the vegetable mixture, and then a layer of the beef mixture.
- Repeat the layers once, ending with noodles. Spread the top layer of noodles with the last of the pasta sauce.
- Bake in the oven for 20min. Remove from oven and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the dish. Bake for another 20min.
- Remove from oven when cheese is melted and lasagna is bubbling. Let sit for at least 10 or 15min.