Lasagna by any other name really isn’t the same. I don’t know how many different combinations there are for beef, cheese, pasta and tomato sauce, but here is another one that stands apart and is incredibly delicious. The prep time was minimal and altogether I had this from grocery bag to table in just over 1 hour – half of which was baking time. Use good quality jarred spaghetti sauce if you don’t have some homemade available. I always spice mine up with some good Italian seasoning and a ton of crushed red pepper. Cottage cheese or ricotta both work perfectly fine, it’s entirely up to you. These would also be super easy to make vegetarian, just use a bunch of finely chopped veggies or spinach.
from: ben rayl, in copenhagen dk
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- jumbo pasta shells - 1/2 pound (250 g)
- olive oil - 2 tbsp
- onion - 1 small, finely chopped
- salt and pepper - use very generously
- garlic cloves - 3, minced
- ground beef - 1 pound (500 g)
- italian herbs - 2 tbsp
- spaghetti sauce - 2 cups
- ricotta - 2 cups (or cottage cheese)
- mozzarella - 1 cup, shredded (plus more for topping)
- parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup, grated (plus more for topping)
- egg - 1 large, beaten
- Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
- Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 1 minute less than the package suggests. Drain and run cool water over the shells. (to keep the shells from sticking together, I added about 1 tbsp olive oil to the water, and stirred them gently often.)
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, generously add salt and pepper and sauté until softened - about 4 - 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
- Add the beef and cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks. When the beef is almost cooked through, sprinkle the Italian herbs over it and stir in about 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce, then remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and egg - mix together well, then mix into the beef mixture.
- Grease a 9" x13" baking dish and spread the remaining sauce evenly in the bottom. Spoon the filling carefully into each shell and arrange them on the sauce, then sprinkle with additional mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes, or until heated through.