This past weekend was one of many birthday celebrations. My daughter, Stella, turns 10 this month and I can’t believe it! Where has the time gone? I hugged her the other day and she came up to my chin – I remember when I could hold her with just one arm – Wow! We had a family party, her first, and there were 16 people at her birthday dinner. She requested lasagna and of course I said yes, but then I started thinking – I had not made a lasagna in 26 years! I needed to make them ahead and freeze them and just keep my fingers crossed that it would be good.
Lasagna (I made 2 – one meat and one veggie, since Stella does not eat meat)
2 packages lasagna noodles
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
2 quarts diced tomatoes
47 ounces whole milk ricotta (1 1/2 containers)
6 cups grated cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan)
Lard, tallow, coconut oil for cooking
1. Prepare noodles according to package.
2. Brown meat in a skillet.
3. Saute spinach.
4. Pour diced tomatoes into a large pot and using a stick blender, puree. Or you can use canned sauce.
5.Grate your mixture of cheese.
6. Mix together the ricotta, eggs, 4 cups grated cheese, oregano, salt and pepper.
7. With one of your 9×13 baking dishes, spread some of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Next layer cover the sauce with noodles, then cover with the ricotta cheese mixture, then spinach, repeat one more time. The last layer: noodles, sauce, grated cheese.
8. Add the browned meat to the remaining tomato sauce.
9. In the other 9×13 baking dish, spread some of the meat sauce. Now start the layering: noodles, ricotta cheese mixture, meat sauce – repeat one more time. The last layer: noodles, meat sauce and grated cheese.
10. Cover both pans with saran wrap and then tin foil – place in freezer.
11. In the morning of the day you are going to cook the lasagna, take out of the freezer and allow to defrost.
12. Preheat the oven to 350.
13. Take the saran off the pans and then recover with the tin foil. Bake for 1 hour, take the tin foil off and bake another 15 minutes.
Cut and serve. Everyone told me it was good – so I am going to believe them. Stella loved it and had a great family party!