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Traditional Lasagna

If you're looking for a very good, traditional lasagna recipe--that is, made with tomatoes, beef, and cheese, but without trendy ingredients like eggplant and poached pears--this is it. This lasagna is rich, savory, and cheesy, and just as good as that served at any Italian restaurant.

1-1/2 lb ground beef 
1/2 cup diced celery 
1 green pepper, with seeds, diced 
1/2 cup chopped onion 
1 tsp basil 
1 tsp oregano 
Salt, pepper, and garlic, to taste 
16-oz can tomatoes 
2 6-oz cans tomato paste 
10 oz lasagna noodles 
2 eggs 
24 oz cottage cheese 
1 medium carton ricotta cheese 
1/4 c dried parsley 
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese, sliced 
Parmesan cheese 

Brown ground beef. Add celery, green pepper, and onions; cook until vegetables are tender. Add basil, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Simmer on low heat. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine eggs, cottage and ricotta cheeses, and parsley; season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread layer of noodles in 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan. Cover with half of cottage cheese mixture, then with a layer of mozzarella, then a layer of meat sauce. Repeat, ending with meat sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 45 minutes; let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

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