Monday, October 13, 2008

Lazy Day Lasagna

I found this lasagna recipe and loved it. Let me count the reasons I love it ...

1. Easy
2. Quick
3. Yummy
4. Easy
5. Freezable
6. Common Ingredients
7. Easy
8. Adaptable
9. Low Cost
10. EASY!

I found this recipe in one of my freezer manuals I enjoy using. I like to put meals in the freezer because it saves time, something I find in short supply. For one-of-those-days it saves my sanity, also something I find in short supply. I also like to be able to help friends. It is so easy to go to my freezer and find a meal to take to a friend who had a baby, surgery, loss or just an overall stressed day. I find adding a bit of love to the ingredient list makes the meal taste that much better.

This recipe makes a 9"x13" pan or 2-8"x8" pans. It serves 12. I always double the recipe and make one for dinner and one for the freezer. Once when I was having dinner company, I doubled the recipe but made a ooey-gooey monster lasagna. It was the best! The recipe is good as is, but I like adding more sauce and cheese to mine. I can also make it healthier (to make up for the extra cheese) by using fat free cottage cheese, whole wheat lasagna noodles and extra lean ground beef.

Lazy Day Lasagna

12 ounces cottage cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 eggs
1/3 cup chopped parsley (reduce amount if using dried)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
32 ounces spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup ground beef, cooked
9 lasagna noodles, uncooked
3/4 cup water (for firmer pasta decrease to 1/2 cup)

In a large bowl, mix cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, parsley, onion powder, basil and pepper until well blended. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together and cooked ground beef. In a 9x13-inch glass baking dish, spread 3/4 cup meat sauce on the bottom. Layer 3 uncooked noodles on top of the meat sauce. next spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture and 1-1/2 cups meat sauce. Layer 3 more uncooked noodles on top of meat sauce. Spread with remaining cheese mixture. Top with remaining 3 noodles and remaining meat sauce. Pour water around the outside edges.

To freeze, place dish in a 2-gallon freezer bag. If you want to wrap it in foil, cover the top of the lasagna with wax paper or plastic wrap and then foil. The acid in the tomato sauce will leave small holes in the foil. Label, seal and freeze.

To serve, bake thawed lasagna covered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. uncover and bake additional 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. If cooking from a frozen state, add 30 minutes to the total baking time.

**More notes and changes from me ...

I add plain sauce to the bottom of the pan since I like the meat sauce to be in my lasagna. I also add shredded mozzarella to the top of the lasagna. I told you I like more cheese. I cook more meat and have more sauce on hand than the recipe states. I usually cook mine either from the frozen state or right after assembly. I rarely am thinking clearly enough or soon enough to have the lasagna pulled from the freezer in time for a complete thawing.

The recipe goes together very easily. The hardest part is waiting as you smell it baking.

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