I have tried all three recipes. You make three meals out of one recipe, one major TIME SAVER. You make the lasagna filling and you can use the filling for your other two meals of the week or you can freeze the filling and make more lasagna or other pasta dishes through out the months up to 3. If you decide to freeze the filling as a pasta sauce I would recommend changing the beef to Italian sausage. Yum-o
*Cooks note: this amount of filling makes enough for 3 recipes. If you are only making this recipe, the extra sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months. The other recipes (Beef Tacos with Mango-Hot Pepper Salsa) and (Sloppy Joe Sandwich's)
The thing I love most about this Lasagna is that you don’t have to cook the noodles before hand, you just layer with uncooked regular lasagna noodles and cover with tin foil. Another BIG TIME SAVER, I was nervous trying that theory out at first because I always cook the noodles first, but it turned out perfect.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey( I use Italian sausage for just pasta’s)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
4 cups ricotta cheese (I like cottage cheese but both ways are good)
8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese (regular or part-skim), divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the Lasagna Filling:
Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute 3 minutes, until soft. Add, beef and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until browned all over, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Stir in basil, oregano and red pepper flakes.
Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the Lasagna:
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine ricotta, half of the mozzarella, egg, and black pepper. Mix well.
Pour 1 cup of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch lasagna pan. Arrange 4 UNCOOKED lasagna noodles on top of sauce, overlapping noodles slightly to cover the bottom. Spoon half of the cheese mixture over noodles. Top with 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce and 4 more noodles. Top second layer of noodles with remaining cheese mixture, 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce and 4 more noodles. Top noodles with 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese. Top with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until top is golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
Refrigerate or freeze the remaining sauce. Other recipes bellow
2 cups leftover lasagna filling
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups diced fresh mango
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and ground black pepper
8 taco shells (soft, hard or you can make your own)
1 cup shredded Romaine lettuce
1 cup grated Cheddar (regular or reduced-fat)
1/2 cup sour cream (regular or reduced-fat)
Spoon lasagna filling into a large skillet and add chili powder and cumin. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine mango, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.
Serve beef mixture with taco shells, lettuce, grated cheese, sour cream, and mango salsa on the side.
Sloppy Joe Sandwiches
1 1/2 cups leftover lasagna filling
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 Kaiser rolls, halved
Spoon lasagna filling into a large saucepan. Add corn, green pepper, ketchup, Dijon, chili powder, basil, and cayenne pepper and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, until green pepper is soft and mixture is heated through.
Spoon mixture onto rolls and serve hot.