Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hearty Lasagna

Recipe from Cooking Light

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained & chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-Style Stewed Tomatoes, undrained & chopped
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
12 lasagna noodles, cooked & drained
2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup (2 oz) grated Parmesan
1 (15 oz) carton Ricotta cheese
1 large egg white, slightly beaten
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Mozzarella cheese

In dutch oven brown beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain fat and set aside.  Add onion and garlic, saute 5 minutes.  Return beef to pan.  Add 2 tbls parsley, whole tomatoes , and next 6 ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.  Uncover, simmer 20 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Cook lasagna noodles; drain and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine 2 tbls parsley, cottage cheese, Parmesan, Ricotta, and egg white in a bowl.  Spread 3/4 cup of sauce in bottom of greased 9x13 dish. Arrange 4 noodles over sauce; top with half of cottage cheese mixture, 2 1/4 cups of sauce, and 2/3 cup Mozzarella. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining sauce over noodles.  Cover with foil. Reserve 2/3 cup of Mozzarella for topping.  Bake, covered, for 1 hour.  Top with reserved cheese and bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Serves 10-12.

*Can substitute 2 jars of favorite marinara for the garlic, 2 tbls parsley, whole tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, basil, and pepper.  Can also substitute no-bake noodles if desired.

Freezer Method:  Cook lasagna noodles very al dente (3-4 minutes) so that won't get soggy in the freezer. Layer lasagna in 9x13 baking tin according to directions, separately reserving mozzarella topping.  Do not bake.  Cover tightly with layer of plastic wrap and sealing with tin foil; freeze. Place reserved mozzarella in quart freezer bag.  Remove air, seal, and freeze.  

Serving Day:  Thaw lasagna for 24-48 hours.  Remove saran wrap and recover with foil. Bake according to directions.  Top with reserved mozzarella and bake 10 more minutes.  

To bake from frozen: remove saran wrap and replace with foil.  Bake for approximately 2-2 1/2 hours until hot and bubbly. Top with mozzarella and bake 10 more minutes.

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