I've been procrastinating on this post. It's a tough one. When I made this with the intention of putting it on my blog, this posting would have been nothing by happy stories and smiles. But since then, tragedy struck and it may take a different tone. Sorry. I'll try to keep it light and keep it as titled...a tribute.
I have talked a lot about my family on this blog so it's not a surprise that we are all extremely close. Extended family included. Our family gatherings are some of my favorite memories and times that I look forward to even as an adult. There are certain requests everyone has and, unfortunately, the person who made them is no longer around but we do our best to replicate Grandma Ruth's macaroni, rolls, cinnamon rolls, ham balls...the list goes on and on. But there is another thing that is ALWAYS requested.
Aunt Sherri is a quiet presence at our family gatherings. (It's not her fault, Menefee's are a loud bunch.) She takes her time to approach her nieces and nephews individually to check in and see how we are doing. She can almost always be found with a grandchild on her hip or answering to a "Grandma Sherri" request. She tends to her brood tenderly and unassuming. Even in the face of recent tragedy, Sherri put family first and was making sure her grandchildren were cared for and loved.
But I digress, I love my Aunt Sherri and couldn't help myself. Her famous contribution to our family dinners is lasagna. My cousins and I would wait with baited breath to see if we would see Aunt Sherri carrying in her casserole dish with tin foil on top...because we knew what it was. LASAGNA! A meal that intimidated me from the outset, thus my procrastination in asking for/making the recipe. I mean, who wants to be the person to screw up Sherri's lasanga? Not I. But don't fret, this recipe is not too complicated and is absolutely delish.
1 box lasagna noodles (regular or I use Barilla "no boil" lasagna noodles)
1 can stewed tomatoes (or diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can pizza sauce
1 container cottage cheese
1 larger package of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb hamburger or Italian sausage
Shredded parmesan for topping
Boil noodles and drain (usually about 12). Brown meat. Drain off any grease. Add the tomato sauce, pizza sauce and tomatoes to the meat.
Lay noodles along the bottom of the pan. Spoon meat sauce on noodles. Cover sauce with 1/2 container of cottage cheese. Add approximately 1/2 the bag of shreeded mozzarella. Add more noodles. Spoon on more sauce, leaving enough to use on top. Add rest of the shredded cheese. Last layer of noodles. Spoon on the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle parmesan on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Note: If you use the no-boil lasagna, be careful with the sauce. You need to cover the bottom of the pan with sauce first and also make sure that all of the top layer of noodles are covered by sauce so the noodles bake and don't burn. Also, follow heating and timing instructions according to the box. You cook for 45-55 minutes using no boil noodles.
I like to serve with some sort of bread and salad to round everything out a little. Eat and enjoy!
So there it is...Aunt Sherri's lasagna. Bake and serve carefully as there is a lot of love associated with this recipe. Next time I make this, I'll have some different memories but that's ok. The underlying factor is still love.