Lasagna Born of Friendship
More than twenty years ago, my friend Shirley shared this skillet lasagna recipe with me. When I make this dish, I remember her and all the fun times we shared.
At the time I met Shirley, both of our families lived in the Charlottesville, Virginia area. Shirley and I met in a K-Mart store one evening when both our families were Christmas shopping. We kept running into each other and I decided if I ran into them again, I’d introduce myself. Oh, did I mention that I prayed about this? You see, we were new to the area and I was lonely.
A minute later, I turned a corner pushing my cart and met Shirley and Tim coming my way. I stopped and introduced myself and asked them where they went to church. (When you’re an Anabaptist who practices a head covering, there’s a connection.) They invited us to visit their church, and we went. We grew to love the folks at Pine Ridge Church of the Brethren and have warm memories of our time there.
For the remainder of our stay in Charlottesville, we were friends. Dave and Tim hit it off as well as Shirley and I did. We’re still friends, but we just don’t see each other often. We spent a lot of time in each other’s homes and babysat each other’s children. Our children were staggered and between the two couples, we had one child every age from one to eight. I have several recipes that came from Shirley, and this is one of them.
All you’ll need is some hamburger, noodles, spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. A cast iron skillet helps, but you can use any skillet.
It’s been over a quarter of a century since we moved out of their community, and I still think of Shirley when I make this dish.
I usually serve this in a cast iron skillet. You can also pour this into a casserole dish and then put it in the oven to melt the cheese. This recipe is simple and easy. If you happen to have hamburger in your freezer that is already fried, you can throw it into the skillet with the water, spaghetti sauce and noodles, and it will thaw as it cooks. It can be made in under 20 minutes and also freezes well. Make a double batch and freeze half of it for another meal. You can vary the ingredients and the amounts; I don’t do a lot of measuring with this one. You can switch up the type and amount of cheese. Sometimes I use a Mexican mix, which includes some cheddar. I’ve added Swiss cheese when I was low on Mozzarella. I’ve used a mix of wide and thin noodles when I was low on wide noodles. Bow tie noodles are prettier; just remember to give them more time to cook.
This is an easy, quick supper dish, especially if you have hamburger already fried and in your freezer. [See 10 Kitchen Hacks.] It’s also an easy dish to fix if you need to take a meal to someone; they can eat it then or put it in the freezer for a later time.
- 1 lb ground beef - season to taste
- 28 oz. spaghetti sauce
- 2½ -3 c. wide egg noodles (not lasagna noodles)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Brown beef; drain.
- Add spaghetti sauce, noodles, and water.
- Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add cottage cheese, dropping by spoonfuls over noodles
- Add mozzarella cheese on top and shake Parmesan cheese over all.
- Cover and cook 5 minutes to melt cheese.