Lasagna When I Wasn’t a Vegetarian

My friend Richard asked for this recipe, so thought I’d share it with everyone. When I wasn’t a vegetarian, I liked it a lot. This is a family recipe shared by Bonnie V., a friend of one of my sisters. (And someday I’ll experiment with it and make it with no meat. ; )

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. summer sausage (cut in chunks) or sweet Italian sausage (removed from casing)
2 cans tomato paste
2 cans water
1 can whole tomatoes (14 1/2 oz.)
1 medium onion (sliced)
1 stalk celery (diced)
1/2 stick butter
6 whole cloves or 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 lb. ricotta cheese
8 oz. mozzarella cheese (shredded)
4 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 T oregano (crushed)
6 to 9 lasagna noodles

Preparation:
I. Sauce:

Melt butter and add oil, garlic, onions, cloves, celery, sausage. Cook well. Add beef, salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking until beef is browned. Add tomato paste, water, and whole tomatoes that are crushed into mixture. Simmer ingredients for 45 minutes.

II. Noodles:
Cook noodles in boiling salted water with 1 T olive oil added to boiling water. Boil for 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.

III. Filling:
Mix together parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, and oregano. Beat well.

IV. Bake:
Place a little sauce in bottom of a greased 13x9x2-inch pan or casserole dish — alternating with layers of lasagna, cheese filling, and meat sauce. Allow ends of noodles to extend up sides of pan. Fold the extended ends back over top and cover with sauce. Sprinkle top with additional Parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly and center is well cooked and solid.

Makes eight 4×3-inch servings.

Ciao! : )

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