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My favorite homemade meal growing up was my Mom's lasagna. I could always tell when she was making this dish because the kitchen counters would be covered with the sauce and cheese, and cans of opened black olives would be set there just waiting for the taking so my sister and I could adorn our fingers with then. Mom's big black roasting dish would be sitting on the stove, ready for action. My Mom always made a huge pan of lasagna because we always want to have seconds (or thirds!).
Instead of the traditional ricotta cheese, my mom would always use cottage cheese and pre--made pasta and sauce like Barilla to cut the prep time down by quite a bit. Back in the day you didn't have a choice but to boil the lasagna noodles before baking but now Barilla has Oven-Ready Lasagne noodles, which saves even more prep time. Right now Safeway has an in store special that when you buy one box of Barilla Lasagne and one box of Barilla Sauce you will save $1.00!
1 box Barilla Oven-Ready Lasagne noodles
1 pound grated cheddar cheese
16 ounce container of cottage cheese
1 or 2 cans of black olives, sliced (optional)
1 1/2 jars Barilla Traditional pasta sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
2 pounds of hamburger
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cook hamburger on stove top with onion until well browned. Drain fat.
3. Mix in pasta sauce and add olives.
4. Using *desired size of deep baking dish, layer sauce, noodles, cottage cheese, then cheddar cheese. 5. Repeat until dish is filled.
6. Cover with foil and bake in oven for approximately 1 hour. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
This recipe will make one large dish of lasagna, or a 9x12 pan of lasagna as well as a 6x8 pan of lasagna.
Today I still use my mom’s recipe most of the time, and my husband and children love it. There’s something about me preparing it for my family that makes me nostalgic, and even though my mom lives far away, it’s almost like we are all back together again.