Monday, November 12, 2012

Big Batch Lasagna

We love Lasagna but  it takes time to make from scratch.  
So when I do make it, I like to make more than one.  
This recipe made  3 Lasagnas - one 11x13 inch pan, one 8x12 inch pan and one 9x7 inch pan.  The large one went to a birthday party the next day, 
The smaller one went into the freezer of a new mom and
 the third I brought for a potluck family meal at my sister's.
This time I added Italian sausage to the meat sauce for a hearty flavour change., 

For the sauce
  • 2 pounds / 1 kg hamburger
  • 2 pounds / 1 kg bulk Italian sausage meat
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 red peppers  or 1 red and 1 yellow pepper,chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2  8 ounce / 398 ml cans tomato sauce
  • 3  5.5 ounce / 156 ml cans tomato paste
  • 2 cups / 500 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons / 30 ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon / 15 ml dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon / 15 ml dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons/ 8 ml salt
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 ml pepper or more to taste
  1. Brown hamburger in large skillet, drain and remove to large Dutch oven.
  2. Using the same skillet, brown sausage meat, drain and add to hamburger.
  3. Add remaining ingredients  to Dutch oven and stir well.
  4. Bring to a boil on medium high heat and reduce heat to simmer.
  5. Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 1 hour or until sauce is thick. 
  6. Note: This sauce can also be used for other casseroles or pasta dishes.
For the Cottage Cheese Mixture
  • 1  24 ounce / 750 ml carton 2% cottage cheese
  • 2  16 ounce / 425 g cartons Ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups / 500 ml grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons / 30 ml chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
Additional Ingredients :
  • 1  16 ounce / 500 g box lasagna noodles, cooked 'a la dente' and drained.
  • 2 1/2  16 ounce / 55 g packages mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1  4 ounce / 125 g package shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1  4 ounce / 125 g package shredded Parmesan cheese
To assemble Lasagnas: 
Note: Assemble one lasagna at a time.  That way you can determine what size the last pan should be according to how much sauce and cheese mixture is left after the first 2 pans are complete.


  1. Spread a thin layer of sauce in bottom of pan.
  2. Lay cooked lasagna noodles over sauce.
  3. Spoon a generous amount of sauce over the noodles.
  4. Spoon dollops of the cottage cheese mixture on to the sauce layer and carefully spread it to cover the sauce. (some sauce will still show through)
  5. Add a layer of  mozzarella cheese slices.
  6. Add one more layer each of noodles, sauce, cottage cheese and cheese slices.
  7. Top with a generous handful of shredded Asiago and Parmesan cheese.
  8. Repeat with the next pan(s).
  9. Wrap tightly in foil and place in a plastic bag and freeze or
  10. Cover lightly with foil and bake in preheated 350º F / 125 º C oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until bubbling.  (Remove foil for the last 15 minutes to brown top)
  11. Set stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving. This ensures nice firm pieces when you cut it.
Tips:
1. When baking the frozen lasagna, it should be removed from the freezer about 6 hours before baking as directed.  Always give yourself plenty of time to bake a lasagna.  Sometimes it takes a bit longer depending on how cold it is when you put it in the oven.. 
2. Lightly oil the foil before covering the lasagna.  This will help to keep the cheese from sticking to the foil when you remove it during baking.


29 comments:

  1. I love lasagne and it such a great idea to make a large batch while you're at it!! Looks and sounds delicious.

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  2. looks so good! It`s been awhile since I`ve made it,but I add pepperoni`s to each layer & the kids & I !really like that flavor as a different way to make it,phyllis

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  3. Yah baybay, now we're talkin' !

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  4. We love Lasagna. Yours looks wonderful. We have learned that you don't have to cook the noodles! It saves some mess and time. They will be tender when the lasagna is done.

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    1. Doesn't you lasagne come out drier? I don't know just a thought/question?

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    2. It's usually pretty good - if you want it moister you could add another small can of tomato sauce.

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    3. Sorry I didn't realize I was answering the question about the lasagna being drier. I think when you make it using the no - cook noodles, you do need to add more liquid. I'd follow the sauce recipe on the box in that case.

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    4. We just use regular noodles. You can add a little more water, not much. I has always turned our fine for us. We use it as a fund raiser meal at a Christian School. Everyone has enjoyed it.

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    5. Great will try it when I make " Small Batch Lasagne" Just to test it out:)

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  5. My very favorite dinner in the whole world :)

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  6. Looks absolutely fantastic:)

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  7. Bev, I just love the fact that you are not cheap with the cheese! Looks fantastic!

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    1. I love cheese and I know it is not cheap to make. But when you consider how many people it serves - it's not so bad.

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  8. Hi Bev

    I'm going to make 1/3 of this for a friend who helps me with internet and computer. She will want it frozen, to reheat. When you say "wrap tightly in foil" do you mean over the top or over and around the whole dish? Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Sharon

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    1. As long as you put the foil wrapped lasagna in a plastic bag, just covering the top would be okay.

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  9. This looks really yummy.

    My favorite Lasagna trick is to use disposable mini-loaf pans to make small lasagnas. I get 3 layers off of one lasagna noodle and use only one noodle per pan. I put a little of the sauce on the bottom of the pan, stick the noodle in sideways - so the short end goes along the long side of the pan. I add sauce, cheese mixture and then fold the noodle over to the other side of the pan. Repeat 2 more times, ending with shredded cheese on top. This fills the pan. These make a nice serving (or 2) for single people.

    I freeze mine and then pop them, still frozen, into my toaster oven on 350 for about 45 minutes or so. If you let it thaw, bake for less time. Works a treat - especially when my kids were young and didn't like lasagna (yeah, I think they were changed at birth) and I didn't want to keep eating the same thing 2 meals a day for a week. Now, they're grown and gone, so it's just me. Still makes a meal and they last several months in the freezer.

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  10. Hi there. The current Food on Friday is all about pasta and noodles! So it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Have a good week.

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  11. I read a tip on-line about making multiple casseroles and freezing. You line your pan with parchment paper. For example - your 9 x 9 pyrex pan. Then put your lasagna casserole in there and freeze. Then the next day, lift the entire lasagna out of the pan (parchment paper and all). Now slide it into a ziplock freezer bag. When you are ready to use it, peel off the parchment paper, and drop back into the pyrex pan. By doing this, you do not tie-up your pans in the freezer and you can easily stack multiple casseroles one on top of the other in their ziplock bags. This works perfectly!!!!

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  12. Please confirm amount of mozzarella cheese. The amount doesn't seem right. when I made this I was short of mozza. The noodles say 16 oz = 500 gm, but the mozza says 16 oz = only 55 gms. Thank you!

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  13. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 packages of mozzarella cheese. Each package weighs 16 ounce/500 g. so that would basically be 2 1/2 pounds of cheese.
    Hope that clears it up for you.

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    1. Thank you! I'll make the correction on my copy. Having it for dinner tonight and looking forward to it! Love your recipes!!

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  14. Can anyone who has made this tell me how many people this will serve say 2 servings per person I need to feed 15 and 10 are big eaters and several are fire fighters

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    1. I think I fed 10 from the large pan, 6-8 from the 8x12 pan and 4 from the smallest pan.
      I think I could safely say that you'll have lots for your crew.

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  15. Bev K thanks so very much. Im so sorry to be a pain. I was recently diagnosed with Young onset Parkinson and having some thinking issues along with other things. OK so I need to double the recipe since you said 4 pounds of meat and the recipe says 2 ? Also I was going to make one large 12x 20 aluminum pan would that work OK. Also can I make the day before and refrig and bake next day?

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    1. No problem - I'm glad you feel free to ask for clarification. I think a large almuminum pan would work well I would suggest placing it on a large cookie sheet if the pan isn't really strong so you don't drop it when you take it out of the oven later. You can definitely make it the day before. Just take it out of the fridge an hour or so before you bake it.

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  16. I have the 4 pounds straight using sausage and hamburger

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  17. I have made this several times, always to rave reviews. I reduce the water, but other than that I follow the recipe as written. I use half mild and half hot Italian sausage. I've been told "this is the best lasagna I've ever had".

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