Growing up, we weren’t big dairy eaters. I think it had a lot to do with the milk allergies around the house. There was the occasional pizza, and the once-in-a-blue-moon fettucine alfredo. But on Shavuous, my mother went all out. She made the most delicious cheese blintzes, eggplant rollintini and her famous mouthwatering lasagna. We couldn’t get enough of it. The situation seems to be repeating itself in my house, having a daughter who is severely allergic to milk. We too have the occasional pizza, macaroni and cheese and cheese latkes. We reserve the other delicacies for that once-a-year milchig binge. But no-one can make lasagna like Ma’s, so I haven’t even tried. We always make sure we are free for her milchig meal so we can savor her delicious recipe!
Why am I rambling on about Ma’s milchig lasagna in a meat lasagna post? Well, since we absolutely LOVE the dairy recipe, I basically adapted it into a meat one that we can eat all year round! Of course nothing will ever replace the original, but this version is really delicious, and worth the effort (you’ll need a lot of pots to make it!) My kids just gobble it up, without even noticing the spinach!
1 pkg lasagna noodles
2 lb. ground beef
1 medium spanish onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1/2 yellow pepper, finely diced
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
20oz. frozen chopped spinach
3 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 12 oz. cans tomato paste
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Boil water for lasagna noodles. Add salt and a little oil to keep them from sticking. Cook no longer than al dente.
In a separate pot: saute onions and garlic, add peppers when onions are translucent.
In another pot, brown the meat, breaking it up as you go. Drain, return to pot and add sauteed onions and peppers.
In the microwave or pot, defrost the spinach (or take it out early and thaw in a strainer). Squeeze well to remove water.
Mix the tomato sauce, paste, sugar, salt, oregano, basil and pepper. Stir, over low heat, to smooth out and incorporate the tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings, if needed. Add spinach and simmer for 5 minutes.
Assemble the lasagna:
Start with a layer of noodles in a greased 9×13 pan, add the meat mixture and then tomato sauce mixture. Repeat. Top the last layer of noodles with the tomato sauce mixture.
Bake, covered, at 350 until the flavors have blended and the lasagna is piping hot (about 30-40 minutes).