I have a theory that the more stained and beat-up the recipe card or cookbook page, the better the recipe must be. This is certainly the case with the card I wrote my motherâ€™s lasagna recipe on. This lasagna has been a family favorite for years and is one of my go-to recipes whenever we have company or need to take a meal to someone.
The great thing about lasagna is that you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator or freezer until youâ€™re ready to bake it. When your guests arrive, just toss up a quick salad, toast some garlic bread and youâ€™re ready to go!
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
1 12 oz. can tomato paste
1 T. sugar
1 Â½ t. salt
Â½ t. oregano
Â½ t. thyme
Â½ t. red pepper
Â¼ t. garlic salt
1 bay leaf
1 pkg. lasagna noodles (14 pcs.)
1 16 oz. container Ricotta or cottage cheese
1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Brown beef and onion. Add tomatoes, paste and spices. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. If sauce seems too thick, add a little water to thin it. Spoon off fat and discard bay leaf.
While sauce is simmering, boil noodles just until softened. Drain well.
In a separate bowl, mix eggs and cottage cheese or Ricotta.
Layer in a 9 x 13â€ baking pan as follows: sauce, noodles, egg mixture, mozzarella. Repeat until you have 3-4 layers, ending with mozzarella on top. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes at 350Â° F. Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes.
- If lasagna is frozen, keep it uncovered while baking.
- Some people prefer to use uncooked noodles. If you try this, make sure to add extra water to the sauce. You may need to add a little extra baking time as well.
- It is easy to substitute gluten-free noodles or dairy-free cheeses if any of your guests have special dietary needsâ€”or make a smaller dish for them.
- Veggie lovers may want to add mushrooms, peppers, spinach or other veggies to the sauce.
Lisa Amstutz is a freelance writer and editor. She lives on a six-acre hobby farm with her husband, four children and small menagerie of farm animals. Lisa is co-author of Local Choices and author of ten nonfiction picture books.