I tend to use the recipe off the box and alter it a little to work with what I have on hand, and to add a different flavor. I always end up making way more than we could eat in one meal, and have at least one 8x8 lasagna for the freezer, in addition to a 9x13 for us to eat... so be prepared to have a lot of lasagna, or just cut the recipe down. I like to have one frozen though, so I can just put it in the oven for an hour or so and it's done!
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 2 jars of spaghetti sauce (you could make your own sauce, but I like the simplicity of having it made already. We've found that Safeway's store brand of sauce is pretty good.)
- Italian seasonings, Parsley, Oregano, Thyme
- 1 16oz. container of Ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup or so grated parmesan cheese (I buy it in a block and grate it myself - the flavor is much better than the grated that comes in a bottle in the pasta section)
- 2 cups grated mozzarella... I tend to use more like 3 or 4 cups, because I really love cheese, and I really love cheesy lasagna
- 1 box of lasagna noodles
- Olive or vegetable oil
In a shallow pan, brown the ground beef and then drain the grease. I like the chunks of meat to be fairly small, so I chop them up pretty well, but size them to your liking - my dad always likes big chunks of meat. Once this is done, add the jars of spaghetti sauce, and season the mixture to taste. I always add a little bit of water to thin the sauce a little bit, but you could also use tomato sauce. Let it simmer while you mix up the cheeses, and start to assemble in the pan.
When the noodles are cooked, pour out the water, and put one layer down in the bottom of a 9x13 (or 8x8, whichever size you prefer) pan.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta, parmesan, the two eggs and about half of the mozzarella (in my case about 1.5-2 cups, leaving about 1.5-2 cups for the top). Now, spread a big glob, about 1/4ish, of the mix on top of the noodles. It gets hard to spread with a rubber spatula, so often times I have to use my fingers to get it even. Next, pour on some sauce, until the cheese is covered.
At this point, you should preheat your oven to 375.
Repeat these steps until your pan is almost full, ending with a layer of sauce. I usually end up doing three layers, but depending on how thick you make the layers, you may only do two. Now, put some foil over the pan and put it into the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the center is hot.
Once it is sufficiently heated through, pull the lasagna out of the oven and sprinkle, or in my case pour, the remaining cheese onto the top. Stick it back into the oven, without the foil, just until the cheese has melted.
Wait a couple of minutes until it's not so hot that you're going to burn your tongue - you're going to want to be able to taste this. Serve with ceasar salad and a nice, crusty loaf of italian bread to mop up the extra sauce.
** If you do have enough to make an extra lasagna, bake it from frozen at a later time at 375, for 1.5 to 2 hours, until completly heated through.