A big storm is supposed to be heading this way, at least bad through the Twin Cities, they are saying we will have wind and anywhere from 2-6 inches up by me, but a lot more the more south you go, up to 12 inches, so since this is my last day off for the holidays, I decided it was a perfect day to make some lasagna so the kids who want takeout after their drive can pick up some takeout and we can have some for supper tonight and use it up. It's so hard sometimes to think of what to make that can either be frozen or gotten rid of when it's just the two of us. I definitely am not used to cooking for two, especially when one is a tiny eater (not me!). Anyway, I baked it early today so it will cut up nicely for takeout later on as they come by. I don't make complicated lasagna, but everyone seems to like it in this family. I have tried other recipes that take a lot of work, and they were great, but this one works, so why change something that works huh? Here's all I do.
Cook enough lasagna noodles for 3 layers..if making it in a 9 x 13 deep sided pan, that would be about 12 noodles, according to directions on box. (I don't use the "no bake" noodles. I have in the past and they totally dissolved in the dish, so I use the old fashioned cook kind). drain and rinse with cold water so you can handle them.
fry 1 lb of hamburger-I use extra lean because there is already a lot of fat in the cheese- that is salt and peppered and crumbled finely, in a medium sized kettle-then add one large size jar of your favorite pasta sauce-I like Prego Traditional- and add a tsp or sugar to cut the bitterness of the sauce. simmer on low heat until noodles are ready. You can add a small can of drained diced tomatoes to this to add a nice freshness to the sauce too.
Put a little sauce in the bottom of your baking pan..
Layer about 4 noodles on the bottom of the pan. put a layer of the sauce/meat mixture even over the noodles. put a layer of small curd cottage cheese (I get a large container of this), then a layer of mozzarella cheese and a small amount of mild cheddar cheese and start the process again. be generous with all your toppings. after you do the second layer, put on one more layer of noodles, the sauce and meat, NO cottage cheese, just mozzarella and cheddar and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. cover with aluminum foil, doming it so it isn't touching the cheese and sealing the sides. put on a sheet pan to protect from oven spills, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Then remove foil and bake another 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown on the edges. Let sit at least 30-45 minutes so it "sticks" together when cutting into it. This can be frozen well.