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Lasagna With Meat Sauce

So I completly forgot about how I was going to incorporate my recipes into my blog for others to try. While some of them are old classics, they are new to a newlywed whos trying to keep a man fed for the first time. I adore cooking and have so much fun doing it but quick and easy is the route I usually take.

Last week I made lasagna, which can be a bit labor intensive since I made my meat sauce from scratch. The thing that I love about this recipe is that the meat sauce recipe is triple, so you get 2 extra helpings to freeze and use later on for pasta or more lasagna.

I’m also not a fan of “saucey” lasagna and don’t want it oozing tomato juice all over my plate so this recipe is fabulous! It’s ridiculously cheap to make too. The 3 lbs of meat will set you back the most but it’s good for 3 different meals!

Lasagna Filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce

Directions
Lasagna:
4 cups ricotta cheese (regular or part-skim)
8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese (regular or part-skim), divided
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 uncooked lasagna noodles1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano

Cooks note: this amount of filling makes enough for 3 recipes. If you are only making this recipe, the extra sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the Lasagna Filling:
Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute 3 minutes, until soft. Add, beef and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until browned all over, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Stir in basil, oregano and red pepper flakes.Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the Lasagna:
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine ricotta, half of the mozzarella, egg, and black pepper. Mix well.
Pour 1 cup of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch lasagna pan. Arrange 4 UNCOOKED lasagna noodles on top of sauce, overlapping noodles slightly to cover the bottom. Spoon half of the cheese mixture over noodles. Top with 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce and 4 more noodles. Top second layer of noodles with remaining cheese mixture, 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce and 4 more noodles. Top noodles with 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese. Top with Parmesan cheese.Refrigerate or freeze the remaining sauce.

Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until top is golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing

HINT: Put foil on the oven rack under your casserole dish because it will over flow.

This recipe was enough for dinner 2 nights and lunch for 2 days for the two of us, even though I’m the only one that ate the left overs 🙂

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