Aaron’s Favorite Lasagna

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My grandfather loved to cook, even back in the Eisenhower days, where the men went out to work, and the women stayed home and kept the house. He was a fabulous bread maker and started my mother on her endless cookbook collecting. He is also very much remembered for this recipe. It dates back to the 60’s, so the only kind of parmesan cheese Grandpa knew of came in a green can. The recipe also doesn’t take advantage of many fresh herbs or the new no-boil kind of pasta either, though I’m sure it couldn’t hurt at all to make those replacements. Rinsing pasta is usually frowned upon, but it’s important to do it in this recipe, otherwise the noodles will stick together and become completely impossible to handle.

1 lb. sausage (sweet italian or bulk)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon basil (dried)
1½ teaspoons salt
1 can of chopped tomatoes (16 oz)
2 cans tomato paste (6 oz. each)
10 oz. lasagna noodles
3 cups ricotta cheese (whole milk is best)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons dried parsley
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 lb. mozzarella, sliced thin (or same amount, shredded)

In a large frying pan, brown the meat slowly. Spoon off the excess grease. Add garlic, basil, salt, tomatoes, and tomato paste, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook the noodles according to the package, drain, and rinse under cold water until you can handle them. Combine the ricotta, parmesan, parsley, eggs, salt and pepper. Put half of the noodles in a 13x9x2 baking dish, spread half of the cheese mixture on top, and a layer of 1/3rd of the mozzarella cheese, and half of the meat sauce. Repeat the layers, finishing off with the rest of the mozzarella. Bake at 375° for about 30 minutes. Let it stand 10 minutes before serving.