18 lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds bulk Italian sausage
1 pound ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
Two 14.5-ounce cans whole tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups ricotta
2 large eggs beaten
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
18 slices mozzarella
Ciabatta or baguette slices, for serving
Halved cherry tomatoes tossed with chopped fresh basil, for serving
Cover a baking sheet with plastic wrap.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt. Cook the lasagna noodles until al dente, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain, then lay out flat on the wrapped baking sheet until ready to assemble.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, beef and garlic and cook until the meat is browned completely, about 5 minutes. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat (if needed), add the tomato paste and fry for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and crush with a spoon. Add the basil, 1 tablespoon of the parsley and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, add the cottage cheese, ricotta, beaten eggs, 1/2 cup of the grated Parmesan, 2 teaspoons salt and remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and mix together well. Set aside.
Before or during assembly, cut or tear the lasagna sheets in half crosswise.
To assemble each loaf pan: Add just enough meat sauce (about 1/4 cup) to cover the bottom of each of three 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch aluminum foil loaf pans. Layer 4 half lasagna sheets, overlapping, over the sauce on each. Top with 1/2 cup of the cottage cheese mixture, spread evenly. Top with 3 slices mozzarella, then 1/2 cup meat sauce, then 4 half lasagna sheets, overlapping. Top with 1/2 cup cottage cheese mixture, spread evenly, 3 slices mozzarella and 1/2 cup meat sauce. Finish with 4 half lasagna sheets, overlapping, 1/2 cup meat sauce and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan. The lasagnas can be baked right away, covered in foil and refrigerated for up to 2 days or wrapped in foil and frozen.
If baking right away, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the loaf pan on a baking sheet and bake until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve with a couple of slices of ciabatta or baguette and cherry tomatoes tossed in basil.
If baking from frozen, put the loaf pan on a baking sheet, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour. Uncover and bake until hot and bubbly, an additional 20 to 25 minutes.
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