October 27, 2010

Hearty Lasagna

I found this recipe in the Sunday paper, and it's looks really great!
Marcy Cella, L'Anse, Michigan
  featuring a cute, heart-shaped cutout, this fetching dish is perfect to share around Valentine's Day. Best of all, you can make the lasagna ahead of time!

   1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
          1 medium onion, chopped
          1 garlic clove, minced
          3 T. olive oil
          1 can (28oz) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
          1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
          1 can (6oz) tomato paste
          1 tsp. dried oregano
          1 tsp. sugar
          1 tsp. salt
       1/4 tsp. pepper
          2 carrots, halved
          2 celery ribs, halved
        12 oz. lasagna noodles
          1 carton (15oz) ricotta cheese
          2 cups. (8oz) shredded part-skin mozzarella cheese
       1/2 cup. grated Parmesan cheese

   In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic in oil until meat is no longer pink and onion is tender;drain. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper. Place carrots and celery in sauce. Simmer, uncovered, for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
   Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain; rinse in cold water. Remove and discard carrots and celery.
   In a greased 13x 9 x 2inch. baking dish. layer one-third of the noodles, one-third of the meat sauce, one-third of the ricotta, one-third of the mozzarella and one-third of the Parmesan. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining noodles and meat sauce.
   Cut a heart out of aluminum foil and center on top of sauce. Dollop and spread remaining ricotta round heart. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 F. for 45 minutes. Remove and discard foil heart. Let stand 10-15 minutes before cutting.
Serves: 12