March 27, 2010

BEEF AND VEGETABLE LASAGNA

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. ground beef round; optional
5 c. New Basic Tomato Sauce
4 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
3 1/2 c. Ricotta cheese
1 c. chopped cooked spinach, well drained; optional
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 lasagna noodles, cooked until not quite tender
3 c. grated Mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the beef, crumbling it into the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it is browned. Drain, and set aside.

3. Place the tomato sauce in a saucepan. Add the beef and 2 tablespoons of the parsley, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

4. In a mixing bowl, combine the Ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, oregano, nutmeg, and pepper; stir well.

5. Place 2 cups of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Spread half the Ricotta mixture over the lasagna, and sprinkle with 1 cup of the Mozzarella. Repeat the layers of sauce, noodles, Ricotta, and Mozzarella.

6. Top with the remaining 2 cups of sauce and 1 cup Mozzarella, sprinkle evenly over the top.

7. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil, place it on a baking sheet, and bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to rest 10-15 minutes before serving. 8 portions.

NOTE: For individual frozen portions, cut the baked lasagna into eight pieces. Place in freezer container with lids. Freeze when cool. To reheat, defrost and bake, covered with aluminum foil, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

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