Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lazy Lasagna

This is a great freezer meal. I got the recipe from Melanie who was a member of a freezer meal group that I was part of. I got so many great recipes from that group and this one is now a staple in our house - very kid pleasing.

Lazy Lasagna

3 cups uncooked penne pasta
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup very finely chopped or grated carrots
1 jar pasta sauce (24 oz)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
16 oz cottage cheese (4% milk fat works bests for texture and creaminess)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg

In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until tender but firm, drain. Toss with olive oil. Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium high heat until browned. Add onions and carrots, cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce and Italian seasoning. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a bowl combine cottage cheese, egg, and 1 cup mozzarella, set aside.

Spread 1/2 of the meat mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Top with all of the pasta. Spread all of the cheese mixture over pasta. Top with remaining meat mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour, uncover and bake another 2-3 minutes.

Freezing instructions:
You can either make 1 9x13 or 2 8x8 pans of this. (I always use disposable foil pans for freezer meals.) Prepare as instructed above right up till the baking part. Cover with plastic wrap then foil and freeze.

Cooking Instructions:
Thaw in fridge for at least a full day (takes a while). Remove plastic wrap and foil, recover loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350. If baking from frozen it will take at least 2 hours and up to 2 1/2 hours.

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