Thursday, April 19, 2012

Non-Italian Farm Wife Lasagna

Back when I was a young bride, I remember making lasagna for guests. The lasagna noodles were supposed to be cooked before you put them in your pan with all the other ingredients.

I searched high and low for a pan big enough to cook those noodles without scrunching them up. I think I finally opted for a roaster on top of the stove. Note: Don't try this at home. What a mess!

But I then discovered an Easy Lasagna Recipe in my Stafford Oktoberfest cookbook. It didn't require pre-cooking of noodles. The first time I tried it, I doubted whether the noodles could be tender without that extra step. But, as it turned out, nobody broke their teeth on tough noodles, and I kept my roaster for things like pot roast and big batches of snack mix. Through the years, I've also substituted ricotta cheese for the cottage cheese in the original recipe.

I realize that a true Italian cook would make her own noodles, and she sure wouldn't use canned spaghetti sauce. But I don't have a drop of Italian blood. This suits a Kansas farm family ... and assorted guests ... just fine.

I realize this isn't going to win any prizes for innovation or creativity. But sometimes easy and familiar is good.

Quick Lasagna
8 oz. pkg. lasagna noodles, uncooked
32 oz. spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 pounds browned ground beef (I always brown a little onion with my beef)
16 oz. ricotta cheese
12 oz. grated Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Brown ground beef; drain and add to spaghetti sauce. Combine ricotta and Mozzarella cheeses. Grease bottom of 9- by 13-inch pan with small amount of sauce. Put a layer of uncooked noodles on top, lengthwise. Layer with 1/3 of sauce, then 1/3 of cheese mixture. Repeat layers 2 times. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes in a 375-degree oven. Remove cover and bake another 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

1 comment:

  1. I would gladly try this, maybe even tomorrow! Lasagna was always such a mess to make, and this looks easy!