I am sitting on my couch with a three week old baby draped across my lap. Henry is keeping me warm while we enjoy the cloudy cool Southern California Fall preview we’ve been lucky to have the last few days. For the time being, it is below 70F outside, and by this afternoon it will be closer to 80F. I am eating the last slice of this cheese attack lasagna and trying not to drop any food on my baby.
I try to work between feeds and diaper changes. He prefers to sleep on me instead of in his own multiple bed options. This is my life now and it might just be the best version of my life I have experienced up to this point. I cannot put into words how much I love my little Henry. I sit here and just watch him sleep, or I caress his head to feel his downy soft hair, or I kiss his face to see him crinkle his nose, or I tickle his belly to hear him squeak and coo.
The last three weeks have been so full of emotion for me and everyone else in my home. We are all still adjusting to life with a little tiny human who takes up all of my time, and much of David’s time. There have been many tears from each member of this family, both tears of relentless joy as well as overwhelming stress. I have had moments of wondering why in the world anyone would allow me to have a child because I can’t possibly succeed at taking care of this precious little life. I have also had moments of feeling like a super warrior who can handle anything thrown her way.
In the weeks leading up to my due date, I made several meals to freeze so we would have easy dinners post-baby. Cheese attack lasagna was made twice during that time, but never actually frozen because we ate it all instead! Whoops. This is the second meal I have made since Henry’s birth and it was a major task. He was sleeping in his bassinet for once so I took advantage of my free arms and started cooking. By the time I was actually assembling the lasagna, the baby decided it was time to be awake and needing to be held. I held my little boy in my left arm, bouncing up and down to soothe him, as I layered lasagna with my right. It became the sloppiest lasagna I have ever assembled! Looks aren’t everything (especially when you’re not taking photos!) and our dinner was just as satisfying and comforting as ever.
Back when I used to make this dish for just myself, it contained no meat. Now that I live with people who love meat, I make half the pan with spicy Italian sausage and half with no meat. You can add whatever kind of meat you love in lasagna, or leave it out and have a pile of amazing cheesy deliciousness! Serve it with garlic bread, or plain bread, your favorite vegetable, a salad, and a cold glass of milk.
- 9 lasagna noodles, cook according to package directions
- 1-2 pounds spicy italian sausage, optional
- 16 ounces cottage cheese
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 16 ounces shredded italian cheese blend
- 2 (23.5 ounce) jars marinara sauce
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a 9x13 inch baking dish, spread a thin layer of marinara sauce and top with 3 lasagna noodles side by side.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and 2/3 of the shredded cheese blend. Spread 1/2 of this cheese mixture evenly on top of the lasagna noodles.
- Top with 1/2 of the meat, if using, and an even layer of marinara sauce.
- Continue to make 1 more layer as above, and top with the 3 remaining lasagna noodles.
- Spread another thin layer of marinara sauce on top of the lasagna and sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of shredded cheese.
- Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 20 minutes, until the lasagna is heated through and bubbly.
- Remove the foil and bake until the cheese on top is golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.