Cindy's Lasagna

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 bunch celery, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tbsp.  unsalted butter
1 - 16oz can stewed tomatoes
2 - 16oz cans tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tsp.  oregano, dried
1 tsp.  basil, dried
1 tsp.  thyme, dried
1/4 tsp. rosemary, dried
1 clovegarlic, fresh minced
Esotico   lasagna noodles
1 lb.  ricotta cheese, fresh
3/4 lb.  mozzarella, coarsely shredded
1 cup Parmesan, grated

In a large pot, melt 2 tbsp. butter and add crumbled ground beef, turning until browned over medium heat.  In a separate pan, melt 1 tbsp. butter, add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, add celery and cook.  Add fresh parsley and stir into vegetables, cooking briefly.  Stir vegetables into beef over low heat.  Add stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce and remaining herbs.  Turn up heat until sauce is gently bubbling, then turn down and simmer.  Spoon off scum and oil on top periodically and cook down until sauce is thickened.  Remove bay leaves when done.

To assemble the lasagna, grease the lasagna dish(es).  Add a little sauce to barely coat the bottom of the dish, then add a layer of noodles (uncooked). Cover with sauce and a layer of ricotta, then another layer of noodles, then sauce and mozzarella, and a top layer of noodles and sauce.  Sprinkle with grated parmesan.  Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 45 minutes until bubbling and noodles are al dente.

Mushroom Leek Reduced Guilt Lasagna

9 uncooked Esotico lasagna noodles (about 8 ounces)
¼ cup flour
3 cups 1% milk
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, drained and squeezed dry
2 tsp. butter
1 ½ cups thinly sliced leek
1 lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp. dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
Cooking spray
½ cup shredded fontina cheese

Add milk to flour in medium saucepan and whisk until blended.  Bring to a boil and cook until this stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup parmesan, cottage cheese , salt pepper, nutmeg and spinach.  Set aside.

Sauté leek and mushrooms with butter over medium heat until tender.  Drain well and stir in parsley, oregano and garlic. 

Spread 1 cup spinach mixture on bottom of a 13.9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Arrange noodles over mixture and top with 1 ½ cups mushroom mixture.  Repeat layers ending with noodles.  Top with ½ cup spinach mixture.  Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.  Uncover and sprinkle with ½ cup parmesan and fontina.  Bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Let stand for 10 minutes.