Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mopsy's Lasagna

Some of you may feel that lasagna isn't fit for a company meal, but, growing up, this was THE company meal in my family's house, paired with (you guessed it) standard tossed salad and garlic bread. When everyone still lived at home, our family only ate meat when it was stretched thin in casseroles, and if we complained of still being hungry after the meal, we were told to have another potato/piece of toast/some more rice (usually without whatever it was that we spooned over it for the meal), so lasagna was a heavenly treat.

I don't know if these environmental circumstances are the reason why I think my mom's lasagna is the best in the world, but, even if so, it's pretty darn good. She only uses canned garden tomatoes in the sauce, as do I, which may account in part for its great flavor.

This recipe makes two pans, so if you only want one, cut all amounts in half. (The extra pan can be frozen for up to six months; simply thaw on the counter overnight and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.)

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic (I use quite a few more)
2 medium onions, diced
2 tbsp. basil (I use fresh, frozen garden basil, in a greater amount)
1 tbsp. salt
2 one pound cans whole tomatoes (I use more, if using canned garden tomatoes, 'cause the sauce is the best part)
4 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
20 oz. lasagna noodles

1. Brown meat, drain off fat, add remaining ingredients (except the noodles, of course) and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook the lasagna noodles

3. Mix together:
4 eggs
6 cups cottage cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. parsley flakes (or 3 tbsp. fresh, frozen parsley)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

You also need 2 pounds of mozzerella cheese to layer on.

4. Spray or lightly grease two 9x13 pans.

5. Layer 1/4 of the noodles in the bottom of each pan, spread with 1/4 of the cottage cheese mixture, spread with 1/4 of the mozzerella cheese, and top with 1/4 of the meat mixture. Repeat the layers, ending with the meat layer.

6. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

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