Recently, I prepared this recipe for a friend of mine who's husband was in a freak accident. This was my friendly casserole that I delivered to her door when she didn't have enough time to cook because he was in the hospital. Luckily, he came home the morning after I made my delivery, woo hoo! At the same time I made a 1/2 recipe for David and myself...you'll see both casserole dishes being prepared in the pics below. I LOVE making this dish and it always procures happy tummies. My friend, Kelly, and her husband both ended up devouring this lasagna within a couple days. He even ate it cold from what I hear! Anyway, if you're looking for a pasta dish that's a crowd pleaser...look no further!
Lasagna Crystal's Way
1 pound ground beef (80% lean)
1 jar (26-32 oz.) jarred spaghetti sauce (I always use Prego)
1 can (14.5-16 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 carton (15 oz.) ricotta cheese OR cottage cheese (I've done both and they're both tasty)
1 egg, well beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
6-8 whole wheat lasagna noodles, UNCOOKED
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
ground red pepper
1/2 cup sliced or shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, chopped
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook ground beef in preheated large frying pan over medium heat 4-6 minutes or until no longer pink. Break up ground beef pieces until they are the size of small peas. Pour off drippings. Add spaghetti sauce and tomatoes with liquid to pan, stirring to combine; set aside.
Meanwhile, combine ricotta/cottage cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese and basil.
Spread 2 cups of beef sauce mixture over bottom of 11 3/4 x 7 1/2 inch baking dish. Arrange 3-4 lasagna noodles in single layer, pressing into beef mixture.
Layer carrots and peppers on top of cheese mixture.
Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and top with two cups of beef sauce mixture. Arrange remaining noodles in single layer, pressing lightly into beef sauce mixture.