Comfort Food

Not that I feel much need for comfort, but the cooler temperatures and all-around Fall-y feeling has made me think of those foods that make me feel good. Stews, spicy soups, and that old fave – lasagna.

Lasagna used to be a special occasion food for us — it was what we always knew was waiting for us when we made the drive from Ontario to my Aunt’s in Massachusetts. We would clamber out of the Country Squire station wagon and go in through the breezeway to a kitchen that smelled delicious. It meant we were home, with our people.

Oh, there’s nothing better! Every time I make it, it’s different — some times I make spinach and feta the stars, other times it’s all about the tomatoes. Today’s was basic no-nonsense no-frills. Delish.

Tomatoes. Cheese. Pasta.

So. It’s not rocket science (though arguably just as useful).

  • 1 can whole tomatoes (whole is always better than diced, fyi)
  • 500 g container Cottage Cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 2 eggs
  • Parmesan (the real stuff, not the stinky Kraft stuff)
  • oven-ready lasagna noodles

That’s all, you say? Yes. If you want more, just add it in, but what you have listed above is all you need to make a delicious pan of lasagna.

Here’s what you do:

Break up the tomatoes and heat them (with the juice — that’s important). If you are so inclined, add herbs — Mr. 761 loves thyme in his sauce, I prefer cilantro or basil. Today I used just salt and pepper because I wanted to taste the tomato. Heat it up, and since you want it to be a bit “juicy”, add a bit of water if you want (about 1/2 cup). You need that little bit of watery-ness to help cook the pasta in the oven.

Once the sauce is heated, ladle enough into the bottom of a casserole pan so that it’s covered liberally. Place noodles side-by-side, without overlapping (usually it takes 3 of them, and then some little broken pieces at the long end). Take the cottage cheese and whisk in the two eggs with a fork. Ladle 1/2 of that mixture on top of the pasta, and roughly grate some Parmesan on top. Repeat until the pan is full.

The top layer should be noodle>sauce>grated cheese.

Pop it in a 375° oven for 45 minutes, covered with foil. After 45 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Let it rest 10 minutes before serving.

Easy, right?

Some favorite variations: spinach and feta; tofu; italian sausage meat and ricotta…. really, make it whatever flavor you want. No matter what you put in it, you will be happy, and the left-0vers are even better than the first day!