As a gift from my dad and Peggy, John received a beautiful lasagna dish that was from our everyday china collection. Now, I love my husband dearly, but the only thing he cooks are mac 'n cheese and cereal (though he does them quite well!). I've used the dish many time for casseroles or just baking chicken, but never for lasagna itself. This week I decided it was finally time to change that.
I thought it would be so simple to find a lasagna recipe. Turns out, there are SO many lasagna recipes that I thought my head was spinning. I felt overwhelmed and almost gave up my pursuit. However, after looking at many (at least 20) different recipes, and thinking about how far I've come as a cook, I decided I was skilled enough to make up my own lasagna recipe...! I was very nervous, but it turned out so well, that I am so excited to share it with all of you. If I can make up a decent recipe so can you!! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one since I've had zero feedback besides John and myself - we are a little biased. :)
*sauce (click to use my meat sauce recipe; or use a jar of store-bought sauce plus some ground meat mixed in; or use a jar of store-bought sauce, plus maybe some spinach or other veggies, for you vegetarians out there)
*15 oz. low fat ricotta cheese
*1 egg, beaten
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper
*1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (included in almost every spice rack!)
*2 cups parmesan cheese
*2 cups mozzarella cheese (I used low fat part skim)
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Cook noodles according to package directions (about 8 are needed). *Tip: To keep noodles from sticking to each other, add a little olive oil to the pot when you add the noodles.
*Cook meat sauce while you cook pasta. If you're not using meat sauce recipe, heat store-bought sauce in a saucepan and cook meat or vegetables on a skillet. Add cooked meat to saucepan to simmer and absorb flavors.
*In a small-medium sized bowl, combine beaten egg and ricotta cheese with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
*In another bowl, combine 2 cups mozzarella cheese (I used shredded, which was an entire bag) and 1 cup parmesan cheese (again, I used shredded).
*In a lasagna dish, or 13x9 inch dish, begin layers: 2 cups meat sauce, 4 noodles, 1/2 ricotta cheese mixture, 1/2 shredded cheese mixture; (repeat) 2 cups meat sauce, 4 noodles, 1/2 ricotta cheese mixture, 1/2 shredded cheese mixture; remaining sauce plus 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese.
*Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until cheese and sauce bubble. Enjoy! :)
|First layer: 2 cups meat sauce|
|Second layer: 4 cooked lasagna noodles|
|Third layer: ricotta cheese mixture|
|Final layer: shredded cheese mixture|
|Top layer: sauce covered by about a cup of parmesan cheese|
|Right out of the oven - yum!|
|All those tasty layers :)|