For a quicker preparation of this recipe by contributing editor Sara Foster's sister, you can use fresh or "no boil" lasagna noodles that don't need precooking; replace the items added to the meat sauce in step 2 with store-bought marinara; and instead of the mozzarella and Parmesan, buy shredded Italian-blend cheese (mozzarella, Parmesan, provolone, Romano, fontina, and Asiago). Prep: 15 minutes; Cook: 1 hour 47 minutes; Stand: 30 minutes.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 2 pounds ground chuck
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, divided
- 1 pound cottage cheese
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 8 to 10 hot, cooked lasagna noodles or
- 1 pound thinly sliced or shredded mozzarella (about 2 cups shredded)
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnishing
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add beef, and cook, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Add sea salt and next 3 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 more minutes or until beef is cooked through. Add garlic, and cook 1 more minute.
- 2. Add balsamic vinegar and wine, and cook about 1 minute or until slightly reduced. Add tomato; reduce heat to low. Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens. Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons each fresh basil and oregano.
- 3. Combine cottage cheese, ricotta, eggs, and remaining fresh herbs in a medium bowl; stir to combine.
- 4. Spread 2 2/3 cups sauce in bottom of 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish. Place half of noodles over sauce, and sprinkle with half of mozzarella. Top with another 2 2/3 cups sauce, noodles, and cottage cheese mixture. Layer remaining mozzarella, 2 2/3 cups sauce, and Parmesan on top. Cover with foil, and bake at 350° for 50 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake 30 more minutes or until cheese browns slightly. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.
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