Lasagna – Easy Flavor at a Cheap Price

By:  Jacqui S Q

Almost everyone I know likes lasagna. I think it is a popular food item for several reasons. Most folks like pasta in general; and when you add ground beef and a tomato or marinara sauce and cheese – voila! It makes for a meal that can’t be beat! Italian foods have long been very popular throughout the world and lasagna is certainly no exception. Perhaps the simplicity in structure is one of the reasons it is a very popular food choice for many families today.

The main reason I like serving lasagna is the fact that it’s a crowd pleaser. And for someone who likes to try to “keep it simple,” this is a dish that can be totally prepared ahead of time – even the night before – and then simply removed from the refrigerator and baked! Add a salad and bread sticks to lasagna and you have a “may I have more, please?” meal fit for a king! You can always choose to add special ingredients to your lasagna recipe and make it more appealing and personalized. Substitute turkey or ground veal for the meat or use a combination of meats for a surprisingly tasty dish.

As far as preparing the lasagna, there are many good recipes out there. As well, there are several companies that sell “ready-made” lasagna and you can find them in the frozen food section of your supermarket. The family size packages usually cost under $10, and although they’re not as scrumptious as one you make from “scratch,” they can certainly come in handy when you are pressed for time! For many people the economical price factor of lasagna is as important as the ease of preparation and family pleasing taste.

Prep time for lasagna is short, and once you’ve made one or two, you won’t even need to refer to your recipe. Also, you may find yourself adding to or changing the usual ingredients. It can become your very own recipe! If you are going to go for a complete homemade lasagna recipe you will need to make your own pasta and this can be done with a machine or by hand. Many cooks today prefer the convenience of ready made pasta ingredients however.

You’ll need about a pound of ground chuck and a quarter pound of Italian sausage; six uncooked lasagna noodles; tomato sauce; Alfredo sauce; cottage cheese; grated Mozzarella cheese and some Italian spices. In a large rectangular glass dish, spread a small amount of tomato sauce and then place three of the noodles in the dish. On top of the noodles, spread half of the browned meat, cottage cheese and shredded cheese, Alfredo sauce and tomato sauce. Repeat with the remaining noodles, ending with shredded cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until the noodles are soft, about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your oven. For the last 5 or 10 minutes, remove the foil so the cheese can brown slightly. Remove the dish from the oven and let it set for at least 10 minutes before serving. Get ready for a real lasagna taste fest.

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