Your Friends Have a New Baby

January 1, 2010 by

It's baby time!

Your friends are having their very first baby.

And since they won't have much time to sleep, let alone cook, you want to bring them something they can eat for dinner over the next few nights.

With diapers, feedings, and all-night crying, at least they won't have to worry about food!

You want to make something homemade ... something that travels well ... and ideally something that is made in a single dish, with no fuss to reheat and serve when the small window of opportunity to eat opens.

So a couple months ago I posted recipe ideas for a baby shower.  And now that the baby is here, you may see a few recipes that are great to bring to a friend's house in the coming weeks.

Today is one of my all-time favorites. It's comforting, delicious, and says "I care" more than any other recipe. 

It's homemade lasagna.  And it's hands-down - in my opinion and in fact - the best first dinner to bring the new parents.

So the next time your friends tell you the baby is on the way, let them know they don't have to worry about dinner this week.  You have the perfect recipe for a homemade lasagna that they can eat for the next few nights.

Until our next meal,

Rebecca

Homemade Lasagna

Ingredients:

Three Cheese Homemade Lasagna

Three Cheese Homemade Lasagna

  • 1 Pound Sweet Italian Sausage Links
  • 3/4 Pound Lean Ground Beef
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
  • 1/2 Cup Minced Onion
  • 28 oz Crushed Tomatoes
  • 13 oz Canned Tomato Sauce
  • 12 Oz Canned Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbs Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Dried Basil
  • 1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 4 Tbs Parsley, Divided
  • 16 Oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • Lasagna Noodles
  • 3/4 Pound Mozzarella Cheese (Slices if Available)
  • 3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt

Directions:

  • Remove the sausage from its casing.
  • Combine the sausage, beef, onion and garlic in a Dutch oven, and cook until brown.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and water.
  • Stir in sugar, pepper, basil, Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 2 tbs parsley.
  • Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 tbs parsley.
  • Lightly coat a 9X13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Spread 1 1/2 cups of sauce in bottom of dish.
  • Arrange 6 noodles over sauce.
  • Spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.
  • Cover the ricotta with a single layer of mozzarella cheese slices. (1/4 pound If using shredded cheese.)
  • Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce, and then sprinkle with ¼ cup parmesan cheese.
  • Repeat layers finishing with remaining sauce, then parmesan and then mozzarella.
  • Cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake 30 minutes @ 375. Remove foil and bake 25 minutes, or until the top layer of mozzarella starts to brown.
  • Cool 15 minutes before serving.

Cooking Tip: When baking something with cheese on top, and covering it with aluminum foil, spray the foil with cooking spray before placing on the baking dish. It will keep the cheese from sticking to the foil, so you end up with a perfect top.

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