Lasanga Recipe (Great Aunt Martha Dale)

I had a couple of requests for the lasagna recipe, so here it is! I should tell you a little bit about great aunt Martha and uncle Don first, though. Both have passed now. They lived in Chicago, and every year they came to visit our farm in South Dakota was a celebration.

Don worked with the Coca-Cola company, and would bring us all this free shit (ie, promotional materials) every year…to this day I have a red button pin with white lettering that says, “I believe in elves.” I tend to stick it to my shirt every holiday season. I’m not sure where it came from, but…thinking back…I wonder if Keebler was a subsidiary of Coca-Cola at the time. Maybe it still is. None-the-less, I love that pin, and I do like a good Coke (regular, not diet) from time to time. Martha and Don also introduced our family in South Dakota to real honest-to-God bagels and Fanny May candy.

Don liked his manhattans; I remember that. He gave me a Carpenter’s album for my 16th birthday when we were visiting them in Chicago. That was an utterly amazing trip for a 16 year old, I am telling you.

When they visited South Dakota, Martha would play cards with the gals while the guys were out pheasant hunting. She was always quick with a joke, smelled like leftover cigarettes, coffee and powder, and was an amazing, warm spirit. To me, she was like an exotic angel from another exciting realm. One of the fondest memories I have of Martha is while waiting for chicken at White Fence Farms restaurant in Chicago, and then after the chicken arrived. This was on my 9th birthday, not the 16th. I think! We just kept going “mmm, mmm, mmm.” It was an “inside” joke between us after that.

I am somewhat tweaking her recipe (like add more garlic!) but basically it remains true. Don’t be stingy on the salt.

Meat/tomato mixture:

1 lb. ground beef

Minced garlic (her recipe is one clove – I’d do more)

1 TBSP parsley

1 ½ tsp salt

2 cans tomatoes (or one large can)

2 cans tomato paste

1 onion, chopped

Brown the beef first with garlic and onion, drain, mix all together and simmer 30 minutes.

Cheese mixture:

3 cups small curd cottage cheese

2 eggs, beaten

2 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

2 TBSP parsley flakes

½ C parmesan cheese

Mix together and set aside.


9 lasagna noodles cooked in boiling water until just tender, rinse in cool water, dry.

Shredded Mozarella cheese

In 9 x 13 pan, place half of the pasta. Layer half the cheese mixture, then half the meat sauce, then half the mozzarella. Repeat the layers, placing the pasta sideways instead of lengthways this time. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Love the food you make, and the people you share the food with.

Authentically Yours, Laura