I know everyone loves the Pioneer Woman, and so many people have found success with her recipes. Early on she talked a lot about her “Best Lasagna Ever,” or something like that. We love lasagna and red sauced Italian food in general, so I had to give it a try. Pat gave me a strange look when I mentioned that cottage cheese was on our grocery list…and maybe second guessed our decision to make the dish when I mentioned it also called for breakfast sausage…. I said, “It’s supposed to be ‘the best lasagna ever,’ you’ve got to trust the process!” Well………
I WAS WRONG!
That lasagna was horrible. I know there are lots of reviews to the contrary (although quite a few people agree with me, too), but that was hands-down one of the worst dishes we’ve made.
All that said, I still love Ree Drummond, and I had to give more of her recipes a chance to overcome the the world’s worst lasagna experience. That’s when I found this little jewel:
I adore this dish. It’s not very hard to make, and it’s incredibly delicious. I make a couple of changes to the recipe, though.
- I use a 12 oz package of shells because that’s what they had a my grocery store. It’s worked out great, though, because I increase the other ingredients a little too and make more.
- I use the amount of cheese she calls for, but I usually just use the ricotta and asiago because I get a big chunk of asiago at Sam’s Club and always have it on hand.
- When my basil plant isn’t producing, I substitute dried.
- For the meat I either use hot Italian sausage or a mix of ground chuck and sausage…I usually use a little more than called for because I use more shells and sauce.
- I use two 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes instead of what she calls for.