Lasagna

January 1, 2021

Lasagna

Lasagna

If there is only one food that you would eat for the rest of your life, my son would choose this.  Lasagna is by far his most favorite food on the planet. 

This recipe does take a bit to put together, but it freezes well so I often double the recipe.  One for now and one to give away or to stick into the freezer for later.  You can also portion out into single servings so you can easily heat one up for a quick lunch or dinner. 

The most complicated part of this is the order of the layers.  The meat sauce is only split into two parts and the cheese filling is split into three with the last portion thinned with additional milk and poured over the top. There is a nice summary of the layers in the notes section of the recipe. 

This recipe is a great balance between the meat and cheese and is not overwhelmingly cheesy. 

Enjoy!

Lasagna

Course Dinner, Main Dish, Pasta

Ingredients

Meat Sauce

  • 1 pound ground meat beef or turkey both work well
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon basil, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

cheese sauce

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 15 oz container ricotta
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

For the layers

  • 6-8 lasagna noodles six for a 12 x 7 or eight for a 9 x 13 inch pan
  • cups shredded mozzarella (6 oz)
  • cup milk

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375°F. Place a large pot of water on the stove to begin heating up (for the noodles).

Meat Sauce:

  • Cook the meat, onion, mushrooms, and garlic until the meat is browned. Drain off the fat.
  • Stir in the undrained diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and herbs. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Noodles:

  • While the meat sauce is simmering, cook the noodles according to package directions.

Cheese Filling:

  • To make the cheese sauce, In a bowl, combine the egg, ricotta, parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup of milk, parsley, and pepper.

Assembly:

  • Arrange half of the noodles into the bottom of a 12 x 7 x 2 or a 13 x 9 x 2 pan.
  • Spread ⅓ of the cheese filling onto the noodles. It will be a thin layer.
  • Spread ½ of the meat sauce on top of the cheese filling.
  • Spread ½ of the mozzarella on top of the meat sauce.
  • Next, add your second layer of noodles.
  • Top noodles with ⅓ of the cheese filling. Top that cheese filling with all of the remaining meat sauce.
  • To the last ⅓ of the cheese filling, add ⅓ of milk, and pour this over the layers.
  • Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

The most complicated part of this is the order of the layers.  The meat sauce is only split into two parts and the cheese filling is split into three with the last portion thinned with additional milk and poured over the top.  Here is a summary of the layers starting with the bottom (first into the pan):
  • ½ of the noodles
  • of the cheese filling
  • ½ of the meat sauce
  • ½ of the mozzarella 
  • remaining  noodles
  • ⅓ of the cheese filling
  • remaining meat sauce
  • last part of cheese filling that has been mixed with cup of milk
  • bake
  • sprinkle on remaining mozzarella
You can determine how many noodles you will need by laying out the dry noodles in the pan before baking.  You will want enough noodles to make 2 layers and completely cover the pan.  The noodles will expand a bit when boiled. A little noodle overlap is ok.
This freezes really well.  I cut into portions and freeze in plastic containers. Just heat up from frozen in the microwave until heated through. 
You can also make a day ahead of time (leave off that last mozzarella until it is out of the oven), cover with foil, and keep it in the fridge until ready to cook.  Take the lasagna out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature while you preheat the oven. Remove the foil to bake and increase the cooking time to 40-45 minutes. 
To freeze the lasagna for later, I usually cook it through, cool, and then freeze. You can freeze it whole.  I usually portion into single servings and freeze that way.  Just pop it in the microwave when ready to eat it. 
 

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