Sunday Lasagna

Lasagna1Fancy enough for Sunday dinner, but easy enough to let you enjoy your Sunday afternoon, this recipe offers a slight twist on a traditional lasagna. The filling is pleasantly creamy, the flavor packs a punch… and yet there are no “weird” ingredients to find. Happy cooking, happy dining!

Ingredients (Makes a 9″ x 13″ pan)

1 box “oven ready” (no-boil) lasagna noodles

Lasagna3For the meat sauce: 

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

4 cloves garlic, diced

4 cups good quality, tomato-based pasta sauce

1/4 cup sliced black olives

1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms*

*If you don’t like mushrooms, omit them, but add an extra 1/3 cup pasta sauce instead

Lasagna4For the cheese filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1 egg

1 3/4 cups cottage cheese

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs (I used parsley and oregano)

 

Lasagna2Toppings:

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs

Directions

Step 1) Using an electric mixer, blend together cheese filling ingredients. Set aside.

Step 2) Brown ground beef over medium heat. Drain well. Add remaining meat sauce ingredients to the browned beef. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Step 3) Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Spread a small amount of meat sauce (about 1/2 cup) on the bottom of the pan, and then cover the bottom of the pan with 1 layer of dry “oven ready” lasagna noodles (I used 5 noodles for each layer).

Step 4) Spread 1/3 of the cheese filling carefully over the lasagna noodles, and then cover with 1/3 of the meat sauce. Use the back of a small spoon to spread the cheese filling and meat sauce evenly – it’s OK if the cheese filling and meat sauce blend together a bit.

Step 4) Repeat Step 3 two more times, so that you end up with three layers of noodles, cheese filling, and meat sauce. Meat sauce should cover the very top.

Step 5) Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 50 – 60 minutes.

Step 6) Remove lasagna from oven and add toppings. Place lasagna under broiler for 3 – 5 minutes, until cheese begins to bubble.

Step 7) Remove lasagna from broiler and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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