Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ken's Lasagna

Growing up in Chicago, I grew up with lot's of Italian friends and have probably ate at least twice my body weight in lasagna! The BEST lasagna I remember growing up came one one our my parent's friends, Jean Kirkpatrick.( with a name like that...NOT Italian!) I would always look forward to going to there home for Jena's lasagna and her chocolate mayonnaise cake with a hot fudge sauce topping.

I bugged Top Chef Fabio today for a recipe, but no luck. After watching his incredible gnocchi demonstration on Sunday I was inspired to make something Italian for dinner tonight.

This recipe is my own, but inspired by Jean Kirkpatrick. She always put cottage cheese in hers, and I remember always loving the flavor and texture it put into her lasagna that was different from all of my Italian friends. I always make LARGE quantities of homemade sauce when I make sauce, put usable amounts into freezer bags, and take out of freezer to use for times like tonight. Use you own homemade sauce for this, or if in a pinch, you can use a quality canned sauce like Barilla. My sauce was a roasted garlic an basil sauce

Ken's Easy Lasagna


  • 3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage or ground pork
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 14 oz can of diced Italian tomatoes
  • 1 cup of diced peppers (I use red, yellow, and orange)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup of Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 15 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 24 oz of  small curd cottage cheese
  •  2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup provolone
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pan, cook sausage or ground pork, ground beef and garlic over medium heat until well browned.  Drain. Stir in diced tomatoes tomatoes, Italian seasoning,  bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and bell peppers. Simmer, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 10-12 oz of your prepaid sauce.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, cottage cheese, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. To assemble, spread 1/2 cups of your pre-made sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 5 noodles lengthwise over sauce. Spread with 1/3  of meat sauce mixture, then top that with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella  and Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. 


  1. Oh my Gosh!!!! Food Porn is Right! MY stomach growled when I saw this! WOW !! Fantastic!
    A great Sunday Dinner for sure! Will you be freezing any of it?

  2. Oh no...Sunday dinner are always more "fancy"... ;) I may freeze part, the other, Will be my retired neighbors Joe and Barbs dinner tomorrow!

  3. Wow! That looks amazing. I was planning to make mozzarella - and now I have a use! Drool worthy photos.