With the first day of fall less than 24 hours away it is time to start preparing your cool weather menus! On my line-up this fall will be all sorts of soups, stews, fresh brownies and hot teas. Warm foods to keep us toasty while the days get shorter and the nights cooler. In honor on this exciting event I am cooking up one of my favorite comfort foods tonight, Cheesy Beef Lasagna. A classic meat and cheese affair, this dish is perfect for preparing ahead of time and is something whole family loves. My husband is a sucker for its rich stick-to-your-ribs flavor, while my daughter loves the wide noodles and cheesy topping. Best of all, if you don’t eat the entire casserole wrap it up and freeze it for later. It keeps beautifully and is great to pull out for a fast meal when there is no time to cook. Happy Fall!
Cheesy Beef Lasagna
9 Lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions
10 ounces ground beef
2 teaspoons minced garlic
28 ounces spaghetti sauce
15 ounces ricotta cheese
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
1 pinch red pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large skillet, cook the beef with the garlic until it is no longer pink. Drain any grease. Add the tomato sauce, reserving 1/2 cup for later. Simmer the beef and sauce together for about 10 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl mix together the ricotta, egg, spinach, nutmeg and pepper until completely incorporated.
3. Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Layer 3 of the cooked noodles. Top the noodles with half of the ricotta and half of the beef sauce. Top with a second layer of noodles. Repeat layers of ricotta and beef. Top with remaining three lasagna noodles. Top with shredded cheese.
4. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until warm and bubbly. Serve hot with garlic bread and a great big salad!