Somehow September has turned into the crazy, back-to-school cyclone that has picked up every piece of my house and turned it upside down, then covered it with school papers.
Now, where did I leave that "system of organization?"
No where is it more apparent that the system is GONE than in our nightly dinner routine. Ramen noodles at 9:15 pm, kids?
So when a day (or week or month) like today hits, I bust out my Sanity-Saving Lasagna recipe.
What? Lasagna in a jiffy? Yep, and you'll have an extra pan to put in the freezer for when that next crazy storm hits your house.
Speedy Beef Lasagna Recipe
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped frozen onion
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (12 oz) tomato paste
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper
1 box lasagna noodles
1 pound cottage cheese
2 extra large eggs (or 3 medium)
1 pound Mozarella cheese, thinly sliced
grated Parmesan cheese
Bring large pot of water to boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions. While noodles are cooking, heat large skillet and brown the ground beef. Add onions and cook until transparent. Add tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, tomato paste and seasonings. Let simmer. Drain noodles and set aside. Slice or grate the block of Mozarella cheese. Crack eggs into cottage cheese container and mix until incorporated.
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In a 9"x13" pan and a 9"x9" foil pan, layer half of the noodles, meat sauce and then cottage cheese. Top with a layer of Mozarella. Repeat with the remaining halves. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and bake the large pan for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Wrap smaller pan with foil and then plastic wrap. Write baking instruction on the top and place in the freezer.
To cook frozen lasagna, place in cold oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The lasagna will thaw slightly as the oven heats and but then take a little bit more time to cook.
Other time-saving tips: Use pre-cooked noodles or place noodles in a boiling pot of water and turn them off while you run your daughter to piano. Twenty minutes with the heat off is just as fast as watching a boiling pot of water. Remove promptly. Use grated cheese (although I like the starch-lessness of cutting my own cheese when in a lasagna).
And I forgot the onions and the Parmesan on this batch, so skipping ingredients all together makes the recipe faster!
Adapted from The Heritage Cookbook Blue Ribbon Lasagna recipe which takes over 2 hours to make.
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