Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2 Classic Lasagnas (Freezer Meal)

This is a great classic lasagna. This recipe makes 2 lasagnas so you can make one and freeze one, because really if you go through the trouble of making a homemade lasagna why not make two?! Of course you can cut the recipe in half if you just want to make one. I'm going to be making 6 of these puppies pretty soon for my freezer meal swap in April.

2 Classic Lasagnas (Freezer Meal)

2 packages oven-ready lasagna noodles
2 lbs ground beef
1 lb Italian sausage
2 cups chopped onion
2, 28 oz cans whole tomatoes (I like Cento brand)
4, 6 oz cans tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2, 15 oz containers ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
8 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

In a skillet brown the ground beef and sausage. Add onions and cook until softened. Drain. Put meat mixture into a large pot or dutch oven. Pour cans of tomatoes with juices into a large bowl and crush up tomatoes with your hands, pour crushed up tomatoes into the pot with the meat. Add tomato pastes, sugar, basil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In 2 bowls, blend in each: 1 container of ricotta, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of parsley flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 3/4 cup parmesan cheese (doing this in 2 bowls helps to get the right amount of ricotta in each lasagna). Set bowl aside.

In 2 deep 9x13 foil baking pans, layer in each: a layer of noodles, then 2 cups of the meatsauce, then 1/3 of the ricotta mixture from one bowl (place in little dollops all over the meatsauce), then 1 1/3 cups shredded mozzarella. Repeat all the layers twice more ending with shredded mozzarella.

To Bake right away:
Loosely cover with foil (tent the foil a little in the middle) and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, uncover and bake for 10-20 more minutes, until cheeses are bubbly and browned.

To Freeze:
Cover assembled lasagna with plastic wrap, then foil and label with cooking instructions. Freeze.

Freezer Meal Cooking Instructions:

Thawed (will take 2 days in fridge to thaw): Bake, covered loosely with foil, at 375 for 50 minutes, uncover and bake for 10-20 more minutes, until cheeses are bubbly and browned.

Frozen: Bake, covered loosely with foil, at 375 for 2 hours and 10 minutes, uncover and bake for 20 more minutes or until cheeses are bubbly and browned.

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