Saturday, March 3, 2012

Classic Lasagna

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I would think most people have a favorite recipe for lasagna.  It's a basic comfort food that, even though it's sometimes time-consuming to make, it gives you a large serving of food for when you have company  and allows you time while it's baking to clean up the kitchen and get ready for supper.  Get yourself a loaf of french bread from your local deli - slice in half and spread some butter on the top and sprinkle with garlic salt - you can even sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on it.  Bake it about 5 minutes at 350 and it's a great addition to your lasagna. 

Classic Lasagna

8 ounces (about 6 noodles) lasagna noodles
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 14-ounce can tomato sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste (I like to use the one that has the basil, garlic & oregano)
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 eggs
1 pound cottage cheese (I use the 1% low-fat)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large pot boil lasagna noodles. 

While noodles are boiling in a large skillet brown hamburger with onion and garlic until browned, then drain grease.  Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil and marjoram.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer about 20 minutes, stirring often.  Add mushrooms then set aside.

As hamburger mixture is simmering, in a medium sized bowl beat eggs then add cottage cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.  Mix well.

Grease a 9x13 pan - you can also line it with foil so cleanup is easier - and place half the noodles in the bottom of the pan.  Spread with half cottage cheese mixture, then half the meat mixture then have the mozzarella and cheddar cheese.  Repeat layers and sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over top. 

Bake uncovered at 375 for 45 minutes to 1 hour until bubbly and cheeses are golden.  Let sit about 10 minutes before cutting.

*You can also make the lasagna in advance and cover it with foil and keep in the refrigerator for 2 days or you can also freeze it.  Then just bake uncovered in preheated 375 degree oven for about 60 minutes.

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