When I graduated from high school, two of my friends gave me a book to assist me with life away from home as I went off to college. The book is called: Where's Mom Now That I Need Her? The book is meant to be a survival guide of sorts for a spoiled kid left to fend for him or herself out in the real world. I believe this is part of a whole series of books: Where's Dad?, Where's my Uncle?, etc. There are chapters covering everything from basic nutrition, how to shop for produce, how to do laundry, to basic first aid, and some general vehicle and bicycle maintenance. A good portion of the book is filled with basic, uncomplicated recipes that a teenager should be able to handle. At the end of each chapter there are blank pages for mom to fill out with her wisdom and advice. I still have this book today. As I look through it nearly twenty years later, I'm amazed at the wisdom and advice my mother had to share with her 18 year old son as he was leaving home for the first time. Recipes passed down through the generations from our Norwegian and French ancestors. Here are some examples: for chocolate chip cookies "Buy Nestle chocolate chips, follow recipe on package." Next to a morning nog recipe in the book calling for 2 eggs; "No-don't eat raw eggs, risk of Salmonella, I'm not kidding." Next to a scalloped tuna and potato recipe and several other recipes; "sounds good." Timeless wisdom passed onto me that someday I hope to share with my daughter when she leaves the nest. There is one recipe that my mother actually wrote down in the book that I use to this day. I have been too lazy to copy it down elsewhere and therefore, I have held onto my Where's Mom Now That I Need Her? book for all these years.
Mom's Lasagna: modified with GF noodles
1 pound ground beef (you could incorporate Italian sausage or ground turkey instead)
2-3 cloves of garlic (pressed)
1 Tbs basil (finely chopped if using fresh)
1 tsp salt
2 -1 pound cans of chopped tomatoes
12 ounces of tomato paste
10 ounces GF Lasagna noodles (I use Tinkyada Brown Rice Lasagna Noodles)
2 pounds Ricotta cheese
2 Tbls Italian parsley (finely chopped if using fresh)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces Mozzarella cheese
Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or make ahead and refrigerate. If refrigerated bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving
Brown ground beef, drain fat, then add garlic. Cook for 1 minute then add basil, salt, tomatoes, and tomato paste. I let it simmer while I get the rest of the ingredients prepared. Add a little water if it seems too thick but you don't want it very runny.
In a separate bowl, combine ricotta cheese, Parmesan, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper.
Boil noodles for about 2 minutes less than the package calls for. In a greased 9x13 baking dish, layer noodles, then half of the ricotta cheese mixture.
Sprinkle on half the mozzarella cheese.
Next spread on half of the meat sauce. If you are going to make this ahead and refrigerate, let the meat sauce cool to near room temperature before putting it on top of the cheese.
Repeat with the other half of noodles, ricotta mix, mozzarella, and meat sauce. I sprinkle a little extra mozzarella on top. You can also sneak in other vegetables in between layers for unsuspecting kids to enjoy. Bake and serve. Make up a loaf of GF French Bread and you're all set. Thanks Mom!