I couldn’t help myself. I had to post two recipes in a row.
This one is for my favorite lasagna and is accompanied by many pretty pictures in which my husband has dutifully posed as cooking demonstrator. I did not get a shot of his face. Sorry, ladies.
This particular lasagna comes from the May, 2000 issue of Cooking Light magazine. You can find the recipe on their website here, but I can promise you it won’t include the witty quips and blatant product placement shots you’ll find here. Theirs is printer-friendly, though, so if you think this dish is going to knock your socks off, please do visit them and print away.
This recipe is formally called “Tomato-Basil Lasagna with Prosciutto”, but Nathan and I prefer to call it, “Holy Hell That’s a Lot of Garlic” lasagna because we tend to add a lot more garlic than what the recipe calls for.
And for those of you who’ve been reading me for awhile, this would also be the same lasagna Molly devoured last year when we set it out on the deck one January night because we had no room in the fridge.
Anyway, here are the indgredients:
- 5 garlic cloves (or however much garlic you can tolerate)
- 1 (16-ounce) carton 1% low-fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Romano cheese, divided
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 (26-ounce) bottle fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce (such as Muir Glen or the cheap not so fat-free stuff I use)
- Cooking spray
- 12 cooked lasagna noodles
- 1 cup (4 ounces) chopped prosciutto or ham
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Drop garlic through food chute of a food processor like so:
If you don’t have a food processor, this can also be done in a blender if you don’t mind your mixed drinks and smoothies tasting a little bit like garlic for awhile.
Add your cottage cheese.
Process for a couple of minutes or until smooth then add your cream cheese.
Add your egg.
Right after I snapped this pic, Nathan moved his hand and the egg completely missed the chute. It was hilarious. And messy.
Add your spices and 2 Tbsp Romano cheese (which I seem to have left out in this step).
Blend, blend, blend until you get a yummy-looking concoction that looks like this:
Spread 1/2 cup of your pasta sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch pan. Nathan and I used disposable tin baking dishes here as we planned on freezing the lasagna for later. Not very eco-friendly, I realize, but for us it was preferable to relinquishing our good cookware to the freezer for several weeks.
Arrange three noodles over the pasta sauce.
Top with one cup of your cream cheese/cottage cheese mixture.
Yes, we screwed up and placed four noodles on the bottom. Shut up. It’s not like we’ve made this a hundred times or anything.
Top with 1/3 cup prosciutto.
A word about prosciutto; it’s freaking expensive. If you’re thinking of making this recipe, you probably don’t want to go to your local grocery store and pick up a small package of prosciutto for just this dish. You can, but every 4 oz package of prosciutto I’ve ever seen has cost at least $5. That’s $20 per pound, people.
That’s why Nathan and I buy this:
That’s a whole pound of prosciutto and we get it at Costco for around $9. That’s why when we make this lasagna, we make up to four pans at a time because we don’t want any of that prosciutto to go to waste. This time we only made two pans and used the other half of the prosciutto on pizzas.
Just to be clear, neither Costco nor Citterio compensated me for this post. No one ever compensates me for posts, dammit.
Repeat your layers of noodles, cheese, proscuitto and sauce twice more, spreading the remaining pasta sauce over the noodles.
Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of Romano and your one cup of mozzarella.
From here you can either cover and bake or cover and freeze. Cooking Light says you can freeze the dish for up to a month. We’ve kept it in longer, usually pulling it out after opening the freezer door and saying, “Oh hey, we still have a lasagna in here.” I’m not up on the science of food and how long it actually takes for the flavors to break down, but this dish has always been tasty no matter how long we’ve kept it frozen. I don’t think we’ve ever kept it frozen for more than two months, though.
If you’re going to cook it immediately, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 375 at the beginning of your prep. The lasagna bakes for 45 minutes covered and an additional 15 minutes uncovered. If you’re cooking a frozen lasagna, make sure it’s completely thawed first, following the same directions.
Let it set it for 5 minutes and enjoy. This makes 9 servings that serve as excellent lunch leftovers, especially if you have a meeting to attend in the afternoon.
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