My Best Lasagna Recipe

Everyone has their favorite go-to lasagna recipe, and this is mine. It’s based off of my next door neighbor’s recipe when I was a kid. JoAnn gave me several recipes, including an amazing alligator tail recipe, but this is my favorite of hers. I’ve added a few things, but this is pretty close to her original recipe. It’s quick, easy and can be made lower fat by using ground turkey. I add some of same seasonings used in sausage to the sauce, so that it tastes like sausage was added. Instead of the spices and meat I have listed here, you could use sausage too, or a mixture or sausage and beef. I don’t pre-cook the noodles in this recipe, because I’m lazy and I really don’t see a difference in pre-cooking them or not. So long as all the noodles are covered well in sauce, and the lasagna is baked covered, the noodles are always cooked. I do use one trick for the noodles though. While the sauce is cooking, I do let them set in a a casserole dish full of hot water. After the sauce has cooked, and I’m ready to assemble. This softens the noodles just enough, so when they are covered with sauce, they’ll perfectly cook.

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My Best Lasagna Recipe

Ingredients:

Sauce
1 lb ground turkey, lean beef, or pork, chopped fine
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 large green pepper, chopped fine
2 medium carrots, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Italian blend dried herbs
2 - 35 oz cans Italian tomatoes, San Marzano is best, but I've also used Hunt's and it's almost as good
salt and pepper to taste
2 small cans tomato paste

Cheese Filling
1 - 16 oz container cottage cheese
1 - 15 oz container ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
salt and pepper to taste

1 lb shredded Italian blend cheese or fresh mozzarella to top lasagna with
1 package lasagna noodles

Directions:

1. Preheat a large pan. Add lasagna noodles to a casserole dish and add enough hot tap water to cover, set aside.

2. Add ground meat, onion, green pepper, garlic to a large pan. Brown meat. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Add spices and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, while breaking up whole tomatoes with a potato masher or spoon.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients for cheese layer. Whisk together well. Then begin making lasagna in casserole dish. Layer sauce first, noodles and cheese mixture. End with a layer of sauce.

4. Top with shredded cheese or sliced mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes to brown.

5. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

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