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Old 02-16-2007, 11:38 AM   #1
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Lasagna - Without Precooking Noodles

I'm still looking for the PERFECT lasagna, but here's a good easy recipe WITHOUT precooking the noodles. I don't do good with wet noodles anyway. I end up tearing them to bits (get you mind out of the gutter - jks).

1# ground beef
1 large jar spaghetti sauce ( or the Hunt's can)
1 pkg. lasagna noodles
At LEAST 2 cups monzarella
Cottage cheese (or ricotta cheese and an egg)
Parmesan cheese
Garlic and other italian seasonings

Crumble and brown 1 # ground beef.
Season with garlic, and any other seasonings you might like.
I used onion salt and Italian seasoning with oregano, thyme and stuff.

Mix a large jar of spaghetti sauce with 1 cup water. Pour one cup of the sauce in the bottom of a greased lasagna (or cake) pan. Lay down one layer of noodles, not crowding them as they'll expand some, and pushing them down into the sauce. Cover the noodles with half the ground beef and about a layer of monzarella. Lay down another layer of noodles, pour on a cup of sauce.

Now for a cheese layer. Yesterday I just used some cottage cheese with some monzarella mixed in. Drop in small clumps evenly on the noodles, you don't want to mix it in with the sauce too much.

OR you can mix 1 container of ricotta cheese with 1 egg, 1/4 cup fresh parmesan (2 Tablespoons from a can), and 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano. OR you can just sprinkle on lots of monzarella (my kids favorite).

Another layer of noodles, the rest of the sauce and the rest of the meat. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350. Uncover, sprinkle on more monzarella, some parmesan and bake another 10 minutes.
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:51 AM   #2
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Homemade ricotta cheese - EASY!

Heat 2 quarts of whole milk (or a gallon) to 200 degrees, or just under boiling if at high altitude. Pour in 2 Tablespoons vinegar or 1/4 cup lemon juice (or 1/4 cup vinegar or 1/2 cup lemon juice if using the gallon amount). Stir and bring the temp back up. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes.

Then strain in a colander lined with fine cheesecloth, or a clean cloth like a pillowcase.

Great for all recipes calling for ricotta.

You can keep the 'whey' and use it for soup, cook your pasta or potatoes in it, drink it, pour it on your roses (they like the acid).
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:22 PM   #3
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I just found this ricotta gnochi recipe and am going to post it, so I don't lose it. I'll let you know how it turns out.

"I consider this Italian fast food as I can prepare both the gnocchi and the sauce in the time it takes to boil the water! This is one of my favorite toppings for these gnocchi. It is a simple, barely cooked tomato sauce with lots of basil. I add cubes of fresh mozzarella when I am mixing it so the cheese gets just warm enough to meld to the gnocchi.


Gnocchi:

1/2 Pound Ricotta

1-1 1/2 Cups of Flour

1 Extra Large Egg

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Teaspoon Salt


Sauce:

2 Cups Chopped Canned Tomatoes

6 Fresh Basil Leaves, Shredded

2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Dash of Red Pepper Flakes

3-4 Small Fresh Mozzarella Balls, Cut Into 1 Inch Pieces


In a bowl, place the ricotta, grated cheese, egg, and salt. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix. Add only as much more flour as you need to create a workable dough. Be careful not to overwork. Divide the dough into fist size pieces, and roll into long logs as thick as your thumb. Cut into 1 inch slices and gently place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the dough in this manner. If not using immediately, place in the refrigerator.

To prepare the sauce, heat the oil and add the garlic cooking only until fragrant. Do not brown. Add the tomatoes, basil, and seasonings and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.

To cook the gnocchi, drop into lightly salted water and remove as soon as they float to the top, after 1 or 2 minutes. Place in a warmed bowl, top with some of the tomato sauce and the mozzarella cubes and gently mix. Serve with additional sauce if desired.

Cooks Tip: The secret to making these gnocchi is to dry the ingredients as much as you can before using. I let my ricotta drain of excess water by placing it in a strainer over a bowl and leaving it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using."
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:46 PM   #4
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Well......... ya just might wanna check out the post here about the lasagna......

http://powwows.com/gathering/showthr...ighlight=magoo
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:39 AM   #5
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Hmmm....I missed that somehow. I think the problem was the noodles. Could have been you, but that's another story! jks

Anyway, buy the regular noodles and follow my recipe. I made two pans of the stuff the other day and make sure you cook it long enough.

For my turkey roaster size pan - double recipe - I had to cook it an hour and a half.

You can stick a fork in it to make sure it's done.
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