You know that good, ol' getting-to-know-you question: "So, what's your favorite type of food?" Mine is absolutely ITALIAN. I am especially a fan of stuffed, cheesy, baked pasta dishes. I haven't made lasagna for several months (possibly even a year??). But I whipped out the ingredients for Valentines Day this week. For the first time ever I made it with meat and ricotta cheese (usually I do a veggie lasagna with cottage cheese -- it's cheaper).
I was certainly pleased with the results. So here it is, my new favorite (and very simple!) lasagna recipe.
Recipe adapted from "The Essential Mormon Cookbook" by Julie Badger Jensen
1/2 pound lasagna noodles (I used whole wheat)
1-1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (1 lb, 12 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (3 oz) package spaghetti sauce mix (I only used a 1.5 oz pkg)
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of allspice
Italian Seasonings, to taste
Dried Parsley, to taste
2 cups ricotta cheese (I used part-skim) or cottage cheese
2 cups Mozzarella cheese
Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Pour off water and place each noodle on a dish towel or wax paper. Brown meat; add garlic, onions, and pepper and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until meat is cooked through. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, spaghetti mix, spices and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. Layer one cup meat sauce on bottom of pan. Layer 3 noodles over sauce. Spread 1/2 cup ricotta (or cottage) cheese over noodles, followed by 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers three times, ending with 1 cup of meat sauce sprinkled with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle top lightly with Parmesan cheese.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes about 10-12 servings.