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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v03n13)
Recipes: Then & Now - Lasagna - by Douglas Carpenter
posted: Jun. 30, 2006

Recipes Then and Now header


Lasagna

Most of my recipes make enough servings for between 2 and 8 people, but lasagna is a dish that doesn't take well to scaling down. This recipe makes enough for a small army. It is an adaptation of a recipe I found on a box of lasagna noodles. I like it, so I make it from time to time and freeze the extra in single servings for later. It comes in handy on those nights I just don't want to cook. If you have a group coming for dinner, this is worth the work because it is all done long before guests arrive - no last-minute prep work. Also, it keeps well in a warm oven until everyone is ready.
The original calls for store-bought, ready to use spaghetti sauce. I much prefer my own homemade spaghetti sauce. I have included the recipe below as well. If you would prefer, try substituting Italian sausage for some of the ground beef.
I have not tried this recipe with regular lasagna noodles - only the kind labeled 'oven ready'. You will find these at Target and Meijer.


Classic 'Oven-Ready' Lasagna
1 12-oz. pkg. oven ready lasagna noodles, (12 uncooked)
1 15-oz. container ricotta cheese
1 15-oz. container cottage cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon dried basil
Two 24 to 26-oz. jars spaghetti sauce (or see recipe below)
1 cup water
1 lb. lean ground beef, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, combine ricotta, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, eggs and basil; mix well. In a medium bowl combine spaghetti sauce, 1 cup water and the cooked ground beef and mix well. In a 13x9-inch pan, (I use a disposable aluminum lasagna pan) spread 1 ½ cups of the meat sauce. Place 4 uncooked lasagna noodles over the sauce. You may need to overlap a little. Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture over lasagna noodles, top with 1/3 of meat sauce. Repeat layering once. Top with 4 additional sheets of lasagna, then the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover lasagna tightly with foil. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until lasagna is fork tender. Let stand 10 minutes, covered, before cutting and serving. Serves 9 to 12 or more.


Marinara Sauce
2 cans (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 tomato paste cans of water
2 cans (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced dry onion
1 teaspoon minced dry garlic
2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pizza seasoning
2 teaspoons sugar

Mix all ingredients together in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for ½ to 1 hour. This recipe makes just enough for the lasagna recipe above, or you can make a batch and divide it up and freeze to use later for spaghetti.
Recipes: Then & Now - Lasagna - by Douglas Carpenter
image courtesy of Douglas Carpenter
Quan


Recipes: Then & Now - Lasagna - by Douglas Carpenter
image courtesy of Douglas Carpenter
Quan


Recipes: Then & Now - Lasagna - by Douglas Carpenter
image courtesy of Douglas Carpenter
Quan


Recipes: Then & Now - Lasagna - by Douglas Carpenter
image courtesy of Douglas Carpenter
Quan


Recipes: Then & Now - Lasagna - by Douglas Carpenter
image courtesy of Douglas Carpenter
Quan


Recipes: Then & Now - Lasagna - by Douglas Carpenter
image courtesy of Douglas Carpenter
Quan


Recipes: Then & Now - Lasagna - by Douglas Carpenter
image courtesy of Douglas Carpenter
Quan




Douglas Carpenter is an avid recipe and cookbook collector. He has over 400 cookbooks in his library and he has published two cookbooks of locally-collected recipes. He has won sweepstakes and blue ribbons in the Culinary Arts division of the Indiana State Fair. Email your cooking questions to douglas@BroadRippleGazette.com




douglas@broadripplegazette.com
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