American Lasagna

Course : Beef
Serves: 24
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2 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup instant minced onion
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 teaspoons salt
3/8 teaspoon red pepper -- crushed
1 tablespoon oregano
3 tablespoons parsley flakes
18 ounces tomato paste -- 3 (6-oz) cans
24 ounces tomato sauce -- 3 (8-oz) cans
2 1/4 cups hot water
3 large eggs -- beaten
3 pounds cream style cottage cheese
1 pound lasagna noodles cooked, (18 noodles)
12 ounces processed cheddar cheese -- shredded
3/4 cup parmesan cheese

Preparation / Directions:

Line four 8x8-inch baking pans with heat-resistant freezer wrap. Allow enough extra wrap to fold over top. Use one pan for each six servings or one-fourth of the recipe. Do not line pans for food to be served without freezing. Crumble beef; cook until lightly browned. Stir in onion. Cook until onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in seasonings, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In another bowl, blend eggs with cottage cheese. In each pan, spread a layer of meat mixture (about 3/4 cup). Add a layer each of noodles (2 1/4), meat mixture (about 3/4 cup), cottage cheese mixture (about 3/4 cup), processed cheese (1/3 cup), and parmesan cheese (1 1/2 tablespoons). Repeat laye rs until all ingredients are used. Pack food tightly to avoid air pockets. TO SERVE WITHOUT FREEZING Preheat oven to 400ø F. (hot). Bake 30 minutes or until sauce bubbles at edges. TO FREEZE Cool for 30 minutes at room temperature. Complete wrapping by pulling paper up over top of food. Put edges of wrap together and fold several times so paper lies directly on top of food. Fold ends of freezer wrap over the top and seal with freezer tape. Label with name of food, date of freezing, and last date the food should be used for best eating quality (about 6 months). Freeze for 10-12 hours before removing packages from the pans. TO HEAT FROZEN FOOD Preheat oven to 400ø F. (hot). Remove freezer wrap. Place food in baking pan. Bake 1 1/4 hours or until sauce bubbles at edges and center is hot. VARIATION Italian Lasagna -- Use ricotta cheese in place of cottage cheese and mozarella cheese in place of processed cheddar cheese.

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