Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Delicious Lasagna

Homemade Lasagna...it's one of those dishes that we love to eat, but we don't love to make.  But trust me on this one...it's worth the effort!  
I made this last Friday for a small birthday celebration for Lainey, and it was a hit.  It makes a lot, so invite somebody over and share the love!  Your tummy and your heart will be glad.


Meat Sauce:
1 lb ground chuck
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 T. dry basil
1 1/2 t. salt
1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 8-oz cans tomato paste
Ricotta filling:
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. Ricotta cheese
1 1/2 c. cottage cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. dried parsley
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

1 box lasagna noodles
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown meat and drain.  Return to skillet and add the garlic, basil, 1 1/2 t. salt, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.  (Do not drain tomatoes).  Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, adding water to mixture if needed to keep it moist.

Boil noodles.  You can buy the no-cook version or follow instructions for boiling.  I prefer to boil mine with a few drops of oil in the water to prevent sticking.  Another trick is to keep the water constantly boiling.  Drain noodles and rinse with cold water.  Lay noodles out on clean kitchen cloth towels for assembly later. (They won't taste like a dryer sheet!!)

Beat eggs, and add Ricotta, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.  

Spray a 9x13 baker with Pam.  Begin layering ingredients in order...noodles, ricotta filling, meat, sprinkle of mozzarella over surface of meat.  Repeat 2 more times.  Layer remaining ingredients, if desired.  
Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until heated through.  You can uncover towards the end of bake time, but be careful not to allow ingredients to dry out.

Serve with a loaf of French bread and a nice salad, and invite friends for dinner!
Photo courtesy of Cooks Illustrated...asking my guests to "wait I need to photograph your plate" wasn't happening:) but our lasagna looks nearly identical!

This recipe is originally from the old Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, and I adapted a few items for our taste.

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