On a cold winter day, nothing warms you up quite like a hefty plate of lasagna. Garfield knew what was up. It takes a while to get everything together (and cook) but it's definitely worth it. As always, use high-quality, fresh ingredients for best results. If you've made other lasagna recipes before, you may find it curious that we opt to use swiss cheese on top. We find that a good swiss cheese offers a firm texture to compliment the softness of the noodles and sauces. The swiss cheese also offers a bit of a tangy flavor not found in other lasagnas. Give it a shot! Also note - you can (and some people do) substitute cottage cheese for ricotta, but ... just don't.
a hearty winter meal
¼ cup (shredded)
Boil 8 ounces of lasagna noodles in a large stock pot. When done, rinse noodles with cold water and set aside.
Brown 1 lb of ground beef and set aside.
Shred ¼ cup of parmesan cheese.
Chop ¼ cup of fresh parsley. Set aside an additional 2 tablespoons (for the meat sauce).
Mix 22 ounces of ricotta cheese with ¼ cup chopped parsley and ¼ cup shredded parmesan in a large mixing bowl.
Stir in 2 whole eggs.
In a separate mixing bowl, mix 30 ounces of tomato sauce with 6 ounces tomato paste.
Add the ground beef to the tomato sauce mixture. Stir well.
Add 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the tomato sauce mixture. Stir well.
Add 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley to the meat sauce mixture. Stir well.
Slice 8 ounces of mozzarella.
Slice 8 ounces of swiss cheese.
Coat the inside of a 9x13-inch baking dish with approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Add a layer of lasagna noodles to the baking dish.
Spread a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture over the lasagna noodles.
Spread a layer of the meat sauce over the ricotta cheese layer.
Add a layer of the sliced mozzarella cheese.
Add another layer of lasagna noodles.
Add another layer of ricotta cheese mixture.
Add another layer of meat sauce.
Add a layer of swiss cheese and sprinkle with parsley.
Insert 3-4 toothpicks in the dish, and cover with aluminum foil. The objective is to 'tent' the foil in order to prevent the swiss cheese from coming into contact with it while it bakes.
Bake at 350°F for about 90 minutes, or until the cheese starts to look bubbly. Let it cool down with the cover on for 10-15 minutes before serving.