I love lasagna as much as I love any other Italian food. When I was a kid, I thought of lasagna as a sort of spaghetti casserole. I mean, it tasted like spaghetti with oodles of cheese. And that was peachy keen with me! My first attempts at this classic casserole were of the “easy-as-falling-down” type, and that’s what I’m going to show you today.
Once you’ve gained confidence with this one, you can move up to Manly Lasagna, which is a bit more complicated to prepare. But I’ve got to tell you, I know a LOT of people who use this recipe (or something similar) and are completely happy with it. And this is important. Your recipes don’t need to be complicated in order to taste great. There are tons of people who don’t have time to go through a lot of steps to get from “what’s for dinner” to “time to eat!” Shucks, there are times when I don’t have time, and so I whip up a simpler, quicker recipe. Don’t ever feel bad about that. Feel good that you fed your family, and move on to dessert!
1 pound lean ground beef
2 15-oz. cans Hunt’s® Tomato Sauce with Basil, Garlic, & Oregano
8 dry no-boil flat lasagna noodles, uncooked
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 15-oz. container ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
Preheat oven to 375°.
Brown ground beef in large skillet or dutch oven until no pink remains. Stir in tomato sauce and cook until heated thoroughly. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat egg. Add parsley flakes, ricotta cheese and 1-1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Fold together with spatula until well blended.
Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish (glass is best) with Pam. Spread a very thin layer of sauce on bottom of dish. Place two noodles over sauce.
Spread 1/3 of meat/sauce mixture over noodles, then 1/3 of cheese mixture. Repeat layers, finishing with noodles.
Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over the top.
Spray the underside of a piece of aluminum foil with Pam. Cover dish tightly and back at 375° for thirty minutes. Remove foil and bake for another ten to fifteen minutes, or until cheese is nicely melted and bubbly and happy.
Let stand for ten to fifteen minutes before serving. This allows the lasagna to “set” so it won’t fall apart when serving.
As I said in the beginning, this is a very easy recipe. I’ve added just a few things to the most basic recipes I’ve seen – namely an egg and some parsley flakes. You can certainly omit these two ingredients if desired, but they don’t add much work while adding a lot of flavor.
Make it spicier by replacing some of the ground beef with Italian sausage. I find that a half and half mixture works very well.
This is a great recipe to make the day before. You can either assemble the lasagna and store in the refrigerator without baking, or bake it, then let it cool before refrigerating. Then, all you have to do is warm it before serving.
Want more noodles? You can get more in there by using less of each filling (meat and cheese mixtures) in each layer, or alternate layers of meat and cheese between the noodles.
Serve more people by doubling the recipe and using a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Have fun with this one, and use it to gain some confidence. Then, if you’re interested in a fancier version, check out my Manly Lasagna here. Either way, have fun, and don’t forget to…
Play with your food!
I have more Italian Recipes here.
Did you like this recipe? What recipes would you like to learn? Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts! (And don’t forget to LIKE this post!) Share it using the tiles below.