I just love it when a recipe has the word “easy” in the title! AND I love eating lasagna so, as far as I’m concerned this recipe is pretty close to perfect.
The “easy” comes in by using uncooked noodles to put the dish together. I don’t know about you, but for my uncoordinated-self getting sticky, hot, ever-wiggly, cooked noodles to cooperate when making lasagna the traditional way is next to impossible. I don’t have time to fight with a noodle!
I found the original recipe in a food magazine about 12 years ago. I’ve long since lost the magazine, but here’s how I’ve been making our lasagna for years:
1 – 1 ½ lbs. ground meat of your choice (beef, turkey, venison)
1 jar spaghetti sauce (or make your own)
1/2 cup water (at least)
spices to taste (garlic powder, salt, pepper, basil, oregano…whatever you like to add to your sauce)
15 oz. container of ricotta cheese
2 cups (at least) of shredded cheese of your choice (I use a fiesta blend)
lasagna noodles (NOT pre-cooked or “no bake,” just plain ole noodles)
Brown your meat with spices of your choice. Drain grease and return to pan. Add spaghetti sauce. If using jar sauce fill with 1/2 cup water and shake well to incorporate any remaining sauce and add to pan. If you’re making your sauce from scratch just add enough liquid to make the sauce soupy.
*It’s the extra liquid that will allow your noodles to cook when they’re in the oven.*
Let this simmer and heat through while you mix up the cheeses.
Combine ricotta cheese, egg, and 1 ¾ cup shredded cheese. Set aside.
Taste-test your sauce and add any spices necessary to get the taste you want. Spoon sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish (just enough to cover it and keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the dish). Layer your noodles…I usually fit 4 side by side and break off a 5th to fit across the space at the top.
Plop several spoonsful of the cheese mixture on the noodles and spread as evenly as possible (this part isn’t always so easy). Cover with a layer of sauce being sure that all noodles are covered.
Do this layering process again and then top with remaining ¼ cup (or more) of shredded cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil making sure that the dish is sealed well (it’s important that the steam doesn’t escape – this allows your noodles to cook). Bake in 350° oven for 45 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Be careful though – That first POOF of steam is hot enough to melt your mascara!
This recipe yields 12 nice-sized pieces.
For those extra busy days, check out Pat’s crock pot lasagna recipe!