Big Batch Lasagna
When it begins to feel like fall, like it has this week, I start thinking about hearty warm foods like soups, stews, casseroles, and yes lasagna. Whenever I make lasagna I make a big batch and freeze it. Fall is a busy time of year for farmers so we like to have ready to go meals for long days. I prepare my lasagna in disposable aluminum loaf pans that you get from the grocery store. This not only makes for quick and easy clean up but is perfectly proportioned for our small family and doesn't tie up my good pans.
First! Enlist family members to help. My son loves to help, and it doesn't have to be pretty it just has to be yummy. You can make as little or as much as you like, but I generally gauge one pound of meat per jar of spaghetti sauce. Beef and pork both work well for this lasagna. I used last years spaghetti sauce I made from our garden because everything is better from the garden. Brown the meat, I used about five pounds, and add the sauce to make your spaghetti sauce mixture. Then I set up a row of loaf pans along with two 8 cup bags of shredded mozzarella and a three pound tub of cottage cheese, small or large curd is your preference. I also use no boil lasagna noodles,but if you want to use regular noodles then you will need to boil them before assembling.
Start with the spaghetti sauce mixture for your first layer, then a no boil noodle, then drop some cottage cheese in, and sprinkle on the mozzarella. I've made this so long that I don't really measure anything but I like my lasagna very cheesy. Then I lay another noodle on top of that and lightly press it down. Then I layer again and sprinkle the top with oregano.
When everything is assembled I wrap everything in aluminum foil. One layer if I'm eating it now and two layers for freezing to prevent freezer burn. Cook in foil at 375 degrees for 45 minutes and remove foil for the last 5-10 minutes to brown the cheese on the top. If you are cooking from being frozen you will need to thaw the lasagna in the refrigerator for a day, and remove the second layer of foil. These meals are also perfect for sending back with collegians, taking to friends who are ill or have a new baby, and for enjoying yourself! I just write the instructions in sharpie on the top of the foil.