After a weekend of hastily prepared meals, I was keen to make us a hearty dinner, and tonight's lasagna did not disappoint! I've cobbled together my recipe from so many different sources that it doesn't infringe on anyone's copyright. It does take quite a lot of prep time, but it makes for excellent leftovers! We were all ravenous tonight, and we still have half a lasagna for lunches tomorrow.
Incidentally, instead of garlic bread (which Hubby and the girls aren't crazy about), I made some quick honey-oat rolls and spread garlic butter on mine.
12-15 oven-ready lasagna noodles
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 Costco-sized carrots (or 3-4 regular ones)
1 cup other vegetables such as frozen spinach, ribs of celery, green pepper
½ lb ground beef
2 tins of crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Italian spices
1 tsp salt
¼ cup margarine
¼ cup flour
2 ½ cups milk (I used 2%)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
½ cup cooked, pureed cauliflower (optional)
Make meat sauce: Peel, chop and put vegetables through the food processor; use a garlic press for the garlic, if you have it.
Heat oil in large frying pan; sauté vegetables over medium heat for 10 minutes or so. Light browning is okay.
Transfer vegetables to large saucepan. Scramble-fry ground beef until no longer pink; drain and add to saucepan.
Add to saucepan: tomatoes, sugar, salt and spices. Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for up to two hours. Stir from time to time.
Make cheese sauce: Melt margarine over medium heat, then stir in flour. Add milk and stir every few minutes to avoid sticking. Once mixture is thickened, remove pot from heat and add cheese and Dijon mustard.
Assemble lasagna: Ladle a small amount of meat sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, just enough to thinly cover it. Layer as many lasagna noodles as you can fit (5 in my case). Ladle half the remaining meat sauce onto the noodles, and top with 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat the noodle, meat and cheese layer again. Last layer: place the last 5 lasagna noodles, top with remaining cheese sauce, and sprinkle all the mozzarella cheese on top.
Bake at 350 for one hour.