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LASAGNA & THE BETTY CROCKER COOKBOOK

"Most of us have fond memories of food from our childhood. Whether it was our mom's homemade lasagna or a memorable chocolate birthday cake, food has a way of transporting us back to the past." - Homaro Cantu


My Version of Lasagna


I love Italian food. The meats, the sauces, the pasta, the cheese...the love put into making the dishes. It's so wonderful. Lasagna has always been a favorite dish for me, with my favorite part being the Italian sausage and ricotta cheese.


Betty Crocker Cookbook (1984 Edition)


Growing up, my mother used to make lasagna for us using the recipe from her Betty Crocker Cookbook. Not just any cookbook - This was the bright orange 1984 edition that contained many of my favorite childhood meals: Sweet and sour meatballs, pancakes, cookies, stuffed bell peppers, Williamsburg Orange cake, and of course the lasagna. I loved spending time flipping through the pages of the cookbook and reading recipes, the endless tips and tricks, food photos, and appendix. This cookbook was a point of reference for me back then and is still an amazing resource 39 years later.


Favorite photos and recipes from the cookbook


As a matter of fact, I love the cookbook so much that I had to have one in my own kitchen.

Right before I got married in 2005, I set out to find a copy of the cookbook. After several online searches, I found the cookbook on eBay in relatively good condition. Of course it was an immediate purchase.

Betty Crocker Lasagna/Lasagne Recipe


Although I love the lasagna recipe in this cookbook, I’m extra and like to have lots and lots of spices, sauce, and cheese in my food. In my version of the recipe, I increased the amount of meat, sauce, cheese, and spices to go along with my extraness. (Is that a word?) I only like Italian sausage in my lasagna, but you can use the meat or plant based alternative of your choosing.


Check out the behind scenes reel of me making this lasagna on the August June's Kitchen Instagram page and on TikTok.

Lasagna & Mixed Greens Side Salad


If you watch any of my reels, you may notice that I do not measure my seasonings. I just add enough of each seasoning as I see fit. For this recipe, add what you think works for you, but definitely use a little less of the seasonings that contain salt (Morton Seasoning), as the Italian sausage is already a bit on the salty side. As a general rule, I think that 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of each seasoning should work well.


The ingredients and preparation for the lasagna is listed below.


Lasagna Ingredients:


Meat Sauce/Pasta


Ricotta Cheese Mixture


Lasagna, Five Cheese Texas Toast & Mixed Greens Side Salad


Preparation:

  1. Chop onion.

  2. Heat olive oil in pan.

  3. Add Italian sausage and onion. Cook until sausage is browned.

  4. Drain Italian sausage and add back to pan.

  5. Add tomato puree and tomato sauce to pan.

  6. Add seasonings to Italian sausage and tomato sauce mixture.

  7. Cover and simmer on low heat.

  8. While the sauce is simmering prepare the ricotta cheese mixture.

  9. Add the ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses to mixing bowl.

  10. Add seasonings to bowl, mix gently and set aside.

  11. In lightly greased 13 x 9 casserole dish, add a small bit of the Italian sausage mixture.

  12. Layer the oven ready lasagna noodles over the Italian sausage mixture.

  13. Add a light layer of Italian sausage mixture.

  14. Add a light layer of ricotta cheese mixture.

  15. Add a light layer of mozzarella cheese.

  16. Repeat steps one more time (noodles, sausage mixture, ricotta cheese, mozzarella)

  17. Add one more layer of lasagna noodles, then top with remaining Italian sausage mixture.

  18. Sprinkle mozzarella, and shredded/grated parmesan cheeses over the Italian sausage mixture.

  19. Place lasagna in the over and bake for 40 -50 minutes until bubbly.

  20. Remove from oven and let set for 30 minutes.

  21. Cut in square servings, serve with desired side (garlic bread, salad).

  22. Enjoy!

*Sidenote: I prefer to use ground Italian sausage as it's faster to cook. If using links, I throw them in the food processor before cooking.


** I used two types/brands of oven ready lasagna noodles as I was almost out of noodles in the new package.


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