BEEF LASAGNA – ABRUZZI-STYLE

TABLE OF CONTENTS: BEEF

This recipe has a distinctly more acid-tomato flavor than many other sweet-tomato flavor lasagnas.  It, of course, is my favorite lasagna since it is the recipe that my mother always used.  Until I wrote THE MAGNOLIA COLLECTION COOKBOOK, I thought it was my mother’s recipe!  Then, she told me that it had come from her friend, Betty Burkett, whose husband, Bill, was stationed at Maxwell AFB while attending the Air War College there.  I have never served it when I did not get “rave reviews”.  So my thanks go to both Betty and my mother.

Because the sauce really needs to cook 2 ½ hours to reduce & thicken, I usually make the sauce on one day; then “build” the lasagna the next day.  Call me lazy or maybe smart?  Actually, overnighting in the refrigerator may improve the sauce, but it truly needs no improvement when made all in one day!  So go for it, either way.

The recipe can be completed, covered with plastic wrap & aluminum foil; & refrigerated for 3 days before cooking.

Or, the recipe can be completed, covered with plastic wrap & aluminum foil; then frozen to cook & serve later.

Or, the sauce can be made & frozen in zip lock bags to thaw & use later to “build” the lasagna. Your choice here.

Sauce Ingredients:

3 lbs. ground chuck or better cut of beef
2 cups onions, chopped in food processor
2 cloves garlic, chopped with onions in processor
2 tsp. salt, divided
2 (28-oz.) cans Hunt’s diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (29-oz.) can Hunt’s tomato sauce  
1 T. crushed oregano
2 tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Layer Ingredients:

1 lb. no-boil lasagna noodles, or less

4 large eggs, well beaten

3 lbs. small curd cottage cheese

18 oz. Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

“Cooking Tips”
– see Home Page (lower left sidebar) for “BEEF, Ground; COOKING”

 

 



Directions for making sauce:

Use a food processor for onions & garlic.

In a Dutch oven, brown & break-up the ground beef using a large whisk.  When beef is cooked; drain-off any extra fat.  Add onions & garlic; stir to mix.  Sprinkle 1 tsp. of the salt evenly over the mixture & stir to blend.  Add undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, remaining 1 tsp. salt, oregano, garlic salt, & pepper.  Stir very well, & bring to a boil; then reduce heat to simmer.  Cook, uncovered, for 2 ½ hours.  Do not cut the cooking time.  Skim-off any excess fat from the top of the pot.  Stir several times during simmering.


Directions for layers:

Spray-grease two (9x13-inch) baking pans.  In a large bowl, beat eggs, & add cottage cheese; mix very well.  Stack several Mozzarella cheese slices & cut diagonally three times; repeat with all slices.  Divide these smaller slices into 4 even stacks.

Begin layers: (keep in mind that there are 2 pans to make)

1. A thin layer of meat sauce, just covering the bottom of the pan
2. A layer of un-cooked noodles, straight out of the package.  Do not let each noodle touch the other noodle & definitely do no overlap noodles (too many noodles make the lasagna dry!)
3. Spoon on ¼ of the cottage cheese mixture & spread as evenly as you can
4. Place ¼ of the diagonal slices of Mozzarella cheese on top. Spaced evenly.
5. Evenly sprinkle ¼ of the Parmesan cheese
6. Repeat all 5 layers.

 

 

 

 

 



Assemble the second pan of lasagna.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered, on a baking pan with a “lip” in the preheated oven for about 50 to 60 minutes; it should be nicely bubbling.  After the cooking time is complete, remove from the oven & allow the lasagna to rest for 10 minutes before cutting the lasagna into squares to serve easily.  Serves 12 to 16.



Leftover cooked lasagna can be re-heated in the microwave & is great.  You can also individually wrap in plastic wrap & aluminum foil,  the cooked squares of lasagna to freeze.

All of these very precise instructions, and, somehow, I failed to even mention a little mishap I had one time!  We were having a large number of guests to our home for dinner one night.  I had doubled this already very generous-size recipe, plus I was making the whole dinner by myself, cleaning the silver, setting the table, cleaning the potties, setting up the bar, etc. (often, I am “a glutton for punishment” as my Mama would say).  O, K., so I was getting pretty harried by the time I got to one of the last of the four pans of lasagna to be layered.  I had made it slightly easier on myself by using good ‘ole Kraft  grated Parmesan cheese in the familiar round cylinder.  When reaching for the green Kraft cheese cylinder, my hand grabbed the green Comet cleaning powder!  I lit into the top of the lasagna with cleaning powder!  In a flash, I realized what I had done, particularly when it began to bubble and fizz!  Frantically, I snatched noodles and spooned-off cheeses -- wildly throwing them into the sink, all the while shouting at the top of my lungs for Joe who was sequestered in the basement darkroom!  What do you suppose I thought he was going to do?  This must have been a case of “misery loves company”!  Remarkably, I was able to rescue most of that pan of lasagna.  At dinner that night, I quietly served all four pans of lasagna, making sure that I dined from the Comet Lasagna pan.  Inwardly, I was praying that no one would actually foam-at-the-mouth!  At the end of the evening, when all guests were still alive and seemingly well, I confessed.   From that time onward, when I make lasagna, the very first thing I do is to place the green Comet cylinder in the cabinet under the sink!












Share

Join Us

Never Miss a Recipe

Kitchen Essentials


Similar Recipes

My Books

THE MAGNOLIA COLLECTION COOKBOOK

Click on book to buy!

weaves a tapestry of recipes for gracious entertaining.  Original dishes intertwine with bits of art, “old master” recipes, the bare no-time-to-cook essentials, and selected cuisine from other regions – all lightly spiced with the distinct flavors of the South.

DINING on the VICTORIAN VERANDAH COOKBOOK

Click on book to buy!

presents an intriguing blend of the author’s original recipes with those of the famous Priester’s Pecan Company – offering an around-the-world sampling of superb cuisine.