I’ve been thinking about doing this recipe for Recipe Friday for quite a while, and since I made some last week and remembered to take pictures I decided it is finally time.
This is my son’s all-time favorite food; it’s what he always wants on his birthday or any other special occasion when he gets to decide the menu. He has had lasagna in restaurants quite a few times but he always says it’s not as good as mine. I’m not sure if that is because mine is really better or because he’s just a good kid who loves him mom. Either way, the compliment makes me feel good, so I keep making this favorite dish even though it’s a bit time-consuming and takes more pre-planning than most of the things I cook.
If you are looking for a low-fat recipe, this is not it. It has 7 cups of cheese and 1 pound of ground beef or sausage! But it is definitely yummy! And the good thing is that one pan of it makes enough leftovers for at least one more dinner for the three of us.
1 lb ground beef (or beef and sausage mix)
¼ chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1 32 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
9 lasagna noodles
15 oz container ricotta cheese
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 cup parmesan cheese
4 cups mozzarella cheese
Pre-heat oven to 350° (you can wait to do this later if your oven pre-heats quickly because assembly takes a while). Fry ground beef (or beef and sausage mixture) in a deep saucepan. Remove grease. Stir in onion and garlic. You can either chop the garlic or use a garlic press. (I just got a garlic press for Christmas and I highly recommend using a nice one!). Salt lightly. Add spaghetti sauce (reserving 2 tbsp) and stir. Set aside.
While the meat is cooking, bring water to a boil in a 4 quart saucepan. Pour a small amount of olive oil in the water. Add the 9 lasagna noodles and cook according to the package directions. When the noodles are done, pour off the boiling water and add cold water to cool down the noodles. This will make them easier to handle during assembly of the lasagna.
In a small mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg, oregano, and basil. Set aside.
Now you are ready to assemble the lasagna in a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Spray the bottom of the dish with cooking spray. Spread the reserved spaghetti sauce in the bottom. Lay 3 lasagna noodles in the baking dish. Pour ½ of the meat and sauce mixture over the noodles and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Then layer 3 more noodles. Next spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles. (This is probably the hardest part of the recipe because the noodles want to move so you have to hold the end of each noodle). Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup parmesan cheese over ricotta cheese. Next layer last 3 noodles. Spread remaining meat and sauce mixture over noodles. Sprinkle 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese and ¾ cup parmesan cheese on top.
Bake lasagna for 30 – 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes after you remove from the oven. Enjoy!