This is an *excellent* lasagna recipe. The sauce is seasoned just right. I usually put ricotta and cottage cheese (1 1/2 cup each). To prepare the noodles I use a technique I saw on Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa" FoodNetwork program. Run a large bowl full of hot tap water (as hot as it will get). Lay the noodles in the water and let them soak until you are ready to assemble the dish. The noodles are softened and will finish cooking in the oven. They aren't soggy or overcooked.
You can freeze the meat sauce, then assemble the lasagna the day you serve it. Our test kitchens made the entire lasagna and froze it, then thawed it in the refrigerator overnight. Both ways work great.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (16-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
- 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
- 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 (10-ounce) package dry lasagna noodles
- 3 cups cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese slices
- Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until tender; drain. Stir in tomatoes and next 4 ingredients; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (For investment cooking, cool sauce, then freeze in an airtight container.)
- Cook noodles according to package directions; drain, and set aside.
- Combine cottage cheese and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl.
- Place half of noodles in a 13- x 9-inch greased baking dish. Spread half of cottage cheese mixture over noodles, and top with half of cheese slices. Spoon meat sauce over cheese. Top with remaining noodles cottage cheese mixture, and cheese slices.
- Bake at 375º for 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
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