31 March 2009

Spicy Lasagna with Turkey Meatballs

One of my restaurant pet peeves is when you order lasagne and you get a dish of mini-lasagne noodles mixed in with meat sauce and baked with cheese on top. That's not lasagne, that's noodles with meat sauce baked with cheese. I tell you this because even though my title says I made lasagne, really I made spaghetti with cottage cheese and spicy turkey meatball-tomato sauce baked with cheese.

I've said in the past that one of the things I like about lasagne is that you can make it a million different ways and it pretty well always tastes good. I didn't have lasagne noodles today, but I improvised and even if it's not really lasagne (by my standards) it still tasted ridiculously good.

This lasagne goes something like this: boil a couple ounces of whatever pasta you've got, but undercook it a bit. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, break up and cook 3 mild Italian turkey meatballs, because why not? When they're not quite done, add some diced onion and garlic and cook until softened. Pour in ¾ of a can of salt-free tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with a lot of basil, parsley and oregano. Throw in a dash or two of the hottest hot sauce you've got. Taste and adjust wherever it needs to be adjusted.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Spoon some tomato sauce from the frying pan into the bottom of a baking dish just large enough for everything. Put half the pasta in the bottom of the pan. Spoon some of the sauce and as many of the meat chunks as you can get out of the frying pan and into the baking dish, using about half of the sauce. Top with half a cup or so of cottage cheese. (Or ricotta if you're less plebeian than me.) Put the remaining pasta on top of the cheese, then pour over the leftover tomato sauce. Cover with shredded mozzarella and a little shredded parmesan. Bake, covered with tin foil, for about 30 minutes, then uncover, turn the heat to broil and remove from the oven when the cheese is browned. Let sit for a while, then eat and enjoy.

This one will serve me 3 meals, but might really be more of a 2 person meal.

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