Well, here we are at the end of October and it seems winter is here to stay. Which isn’t all bad. To be honest, one of my favourite things about the cooler temps is it’s full on comfort food time. So the recipe we’re sharing today is a classic comfort food – lasagna!
Sort of. I’m all about taking shortcuts whenever possible with cooking, as long as it doesn’t compromise flavor. The idea of making lasagna has never been overly appealing to me, it just seems like a lot of prep and layering a bunch of separate things. So full disclosure? I’ve never actually made traditional lasagna. So if I’m being overly dramatic and lazy about the amount of effort it actually takes, feel free to call me out on it, I deserve it.
In the meantime, our family is a big fan of this shortcut recipe, lasagna toss. It’s got all the flavours that I associate with regular lasagna, but has a couple ingredient change ups that are more in line with what we usually have in our pantry. It's also easily doubled, which is exactly what we did when we made this.
I added some pictures for you guys, but gosh they just do not do it justice! It seriously tastes a million times better than how these pics look, so bear with me. I tried hard, but this was the theme of my attempts:
On to the recipe. First, start by browning a pound of hamburger with some diced onion, and season with some salt and pepper.
Next, add in a 14oz can of tomato sauce and season to your liking. I usually default to Italian seasoning, salt and garlic powder.
Oh – and start water boiling for pasta! You would think at 28 years old I would have this figured out, but somehow it seems that I still mess this up every time I make a recipe with pasta. It’s like I read the recipe, realize that the pasta will only take 8-10 minutes to cook so no sense starting it right away and then promptly forget about it. I always get 90% done with the rest of the recipe and then I go “Crap! I don’t even have water boiling!” Yeesh. Every. Time.
As for how much pasta to cook, well this is another thing I still haven’t really figured out. We definitely cooked way too much when we made this, it hardly fit in the pan. I’m also a big fan of a higher meat sauce to noodle ratio. Sooo maybe like 200g of pasta? Whatever that looks like?
We’re gonna be putting this into a casserole dish, so maybe that’s the best way to measure how much pasta you want to cook, is whatever you think will fill the dish about half full, and the rest of the space can be for meat sauce and cheese.
Reserve about a cup of meat sauce. This will top off everything else, right before the cheese. So how much you reserve kinda depends on what you’re gonna be putting this in. Like if you have a taller, round casserole dish one cup is probably fine. When we made this, since it went into a larger casserole dish I reserved two cups (don't forget, double recipe), and that was about right for a dish this size.
Once your pasta is cooked, add it to the remaining meat sauce and stir so that all the noodles are coated. Grease your casserole, then pour half of this mixture in. Next, all the cottage cheese and half of the mozzarella.
Then the remaining pasta mixture, the reserved meat sauce and the rest of the mozza. Grate some parm to finish it off if you’re feeling fancy. Cover and bake at 350F for about 20-25 minutes until its heated through.
And that's it! Enjoy all the cheesy goodness. Mom even made onion-dill-garlic buns to go with. Straight heaven, and it was the perfect harvest meal.