This is my mother's lasagna and and I think it is pretty hard to beat. It was always a big treat when she said she was making lasagna and I could hardly wait for it to come out of the oven. My wife copied mom's recipe, and then when she hung up her pot holders, I carried on the family tradition. This recipe calls for lasagna noodles from the grocery, but I tend to make my own pasta most of the time and can roll the noodles much thinner. That allows me to add more layers and will probably require a deeper baking dish. Finally, since you are going to the effort of making this family favorite, why not make two and freeze one for later. When preparing the frozen one, let it thaw completely and then bake for about an hour.
Make 6/8 servings
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1 (4 oz) can tomato paste
1 cup water
2 cups tomato juice
1 (14 oz) can sliced mushrooms
2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper
Pinch of dried oregano and basil leaves
1 pound Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
9 lasagna noodles, either pre-cooked or no cook
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat, and then add the beef, onions and garlic. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until beef is browned and the onions are translucent.
3. Add the tomato paste, water, tomato juice, bay leaves, salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Stir to combine, bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
4. In a bowl, beat the egg and then mix well with the cottage cheese.
5. In a 9" x 13" baking dish, place a small amount of the meat mixture in the bottom and then top with 3 noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce, 1/2 of the Mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 of the cottage cheese. Repeat with another layer of noodles, meat sauce and cheeses. Top with remaining 3 noodles and remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle top evenly with Parmesan cheese.
6. Place in oven and bake uncovered for about 45 minutes, until it begins to bubble in the center. Cover with foil near the end if the top begins to get too brown.
7. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.