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This recipe is in honor of our daughter Afton, whose birthday is this week.  This was her favorite dinner growing up, and now she makes it for her kids.  It's a little more work than some of the shortcut methods of doing lasagne or buying it ready-made, but according to Afton (who's done both of those) this tastes much better and is worth it :).  So here it is -- happy birthday sweetie!


1-1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 medium-sized onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced or mashed
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 Cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
Rice lasagne noodles (for a good brand look at this post--they make lasagne noodles too), enough for a couple layers in your casserole (you can figure this out by laying the dry ones in your casserole dish)
1 lb ricotta cheese or small-curd cottage cheese, or substitution (see note below)
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 Cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Fill a large pot with water, add salt, and bring to a boil.  Cook noodles in boiling water according to directions on package. 

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan that has a cover, cook ground beef, onion, and garlic together, stirring, until meat is brown and crumbly and onions are soft.  Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water.  Add salt, oregano and pepper, stirring until mixed.  Cover pan and simmer slowly until lasagne noodles are done.
When noodles are done, drain, rinse with cold water, and lay on clean kitchen towel to drain, dabbing top with paper towel to remove excess moisture. 

Arrange a layer of noodles on bottom of casserole dish (I use a 9x13).  Spread 1/2 of the meat mixture over the noodles; top with 1/2 of the ricotta and 1/2 of the mozzarella.  Arrange another layer of noodles on top of cheese; use remaining meat mixture on top of noodles, then remaining ricotta and remaining mozzarella.  Top with Parmesan.  Bake uncovered in a 350 oven for 30 minutes.  If casserole is very full, place it on a cookie sheet before putting in oven as it may bubble over the sides of the casserole.  Remove from oven and serve immediately.  Makes 6-8 servings.

A note about the cheese:  as I mentioned in an earlier post, my husband is allergic to milk, but we have discovered that it is only the whey he's allergic to, since he tolerates cheese just fine.  However, I have recently found out that ricotta cheese is made from whey (and cottage cheese, of course, has milk in it), so I substitute shredded sharp cheddar cheese for the ricotta.  With allergies, substitution is the name of the game!  The lasagne still tastes great.

I don't know how they get those perfect looking squares of lasagne in magazine pictures -- they must be frozen!  This is how real, just-out-of-the-pan, hot lasagne looks moments before being devoured by my husband.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I am not kidding... This is the best lasagna recipe out there!