12 oz. Italian or pork sasuage or ground beef
1 cup chopped onion (1 lg.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1- 14.5oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained (I usually omit and add 2 cans tomato sauce b/c we don’t like chunks)
1- 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 tbls. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed (optional)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6 dried lasagna noodles
1 beaten egg
1- 15oz. container ricotta cheese  OR 2 cups cream-style cottage cheese, drained
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
6oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
Grated parmesan cheese

For sauce, in a lg. saucepan, cook meat, onion & garlic until meat is brown. Drain.

Stir in tomaoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, (optional), and pepper into meat mixture. Simmer, covered, for 15 mins., stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook noodles for 10-12 mins. or until tender but still firm. Drain noodles; rinse with cold water. Drain well; set aside.

For filling, combine egg, ricotta and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Spread about 1/2 cup of sauce over bottom of a 2 quart rectangular baking dish. Layer half the noodles in the bottom of the dish, trimming or overlapping as necessary to fit. Spread with half of the filling. Top with half of the remaining sauce and half the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. If desired, sprinkle with additional cheese on top.

Place dish on a baking sheet  at 375 for 30-35 mins or until heated through. Let stand for 10 mins before serving.

Make ahead directions: Prepare as above through step 5. Cover unbaked lasagna; chill for up to 24 hours. Bake covered at 375 for 40 mins. Uncover & bake for 20 mins or until heated through. Let stand 10 mins.

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