The last time I remember making lasagna was in college, a couple years ago, for a big group of friends. This is really the only lasagna I’ve ever made – its meaty, cheesy, saucy…and delicious!!! Sometime I would like to try a “fun” lasagna like vegetarian, or spinach alfredo lasagna. But for now, this more than meets my lasagna cravings!!!
This recipe, like any from-scratch italian recipe, is quite a bit of work – but in my opinion, pretty foolproof if you just follow the directions! I was pretty exhausted by the end of the preparation but its nothing that a glass of wine won’t cure 🙂 Be careful moving the pan to and from the oven – it seriously weighs about 6 or 8 pounds! The original recipe also states that this can be made two days ahead of time, and just pop in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
I doubt I will ever go searching for a basic lasagna recipe again – there’s just no need!
2 lb ground beef/turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 3-4 cloves)
1 TBS chopped fresh basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 TBS brown sugar
salt + pepper
29 oz can diced tomatoes + 15 oz can diced tomatoes (juice drained)
2 6-oz can tomato paste
12 cooked lasagna noodles – blotted dry – cook just a few minutes too short, so not quite al dente
3 eggs beaten
1.5 C ricotta cheese
1/2 C parmesan cheese
2 TBS dried parsely
1 lb. mozzerela cheese
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, brown ground beef, onion and garlic. Drain fat. Mix in basil, oregano, brown sugar, salt/pepper, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Let simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Note: the measurements are just a start. Make the sauce your own and save yourself a few dishes – add things as you like – if you like sweet meat sauce, go heavy on the brown sugar.
2. Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, mix eggs, ricotta, parmesan, parsely, and a pinch of salt.
3. Take the largest glass baking pan that you have. Put down a layer of noodles. Cover with 1/2 of ricotta mixture, 1/2 of mozzerela cheese, and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat. If you have extra of certain ingredients, just keep creating layers until you run out of room! Word of advice – ensure that your top layer is never noodles – it needs to be covered with something or you’ll have a nice crunchy top layer. And the very top layer should be sprinkled with cheese!
4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Note – my layers were basically overflowing my 9×13 pan. I covered with foil in an attempt to hold everything in. I also put my dish on a larger cookie sheet in the oven, in case anything overflowed.