Monday, October 20, 2008

La La La-sagna

EDIT: Woooh! This recipe has been featured on Key Ingredient!

I've been seriously craving lasagna. Rich ooey gooey layers of cheese, pasta and meat sauce, nice and bubbly hot with the cheese strands stretching tenaciously from plate to fork. So I wanted lasagna, but without the extra step of boiling the noodles first and then layering the hot, eel-like strips in the pan. My kitcken was over 80 degrees(!) and I wasn't in the mood to deal with another hot pot - I get cranky when I'm hot and that's definitely not a good thing. I'd bought some of the Ronzoni Oven-Ready Lasagna noodles as test to see if they made life any easier or if they were destined to become one of those things that sounds better than it is.

I made up some really quick sauce, morphed several recipes and took a little creative license to come up with the one below. The end result? Pretty darn good! I was surprised to see that the noodles did expand as advertised and that they "cooked" up nicely - not mushy and not hard. I'll use these again since dinner time around here always seems to sneak up on me AND the kids all ate it. Winner.


12 pieces oven ready lasagna noodles, uncooked and unsoaked (I used Ronzoni)
1 ½ lb. ground beef
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic
3 cups (about 28-oz. jar) spaghetti sauce
4 medium diced tomatoes (or 1 can diced)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups (2 lb.) ricotta cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat oven to 350°F.

2. In large skillet, cook meat and onions until meat is browned and onions are soft. Add garlic. Stir in spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, salt and sugar (to taste); simmer 20 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.

3. In large bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley and pepper.

4. Spread about 1/3 cup meat sauce on bottom of 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange 3 pasta pieces widthwise over sauce. Pieces should not overlap or touch side of pan since they will expand when baked. Spread one-third cheese mixture over pasta; spread with about 3/4 cup meat sauce, covering pasta completely.

5. Repeat layers TWICE more, beginning and ending with pasta. Top with remaining meat sauce, covering pasta completely; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Cover with foil.

6. Bake 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove foil; bake about 10-15 minutes longer, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. 10 to 12 servings.


I've been seriously craving lasagna. Rich ooey gooey layers ...

See La-la-lasagna on Key Ingredient.

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  1. Do I ever love pasta .... make that -all-things-pasta!

    It is nearing dinner here and that picture above is making me SO hungry.

    Nothing beats homemade sauce = )

  2. It is almost lunch time and now I want lasagna...too bad I don't have any! Yours looks great!

  3. Your lasagna looks GREAT! It's one of my favorite things to make and I often make it when company comes over. I saute any and all kids of veggies to put in it. Now I want lasagna!

  4. Your sauce sounds perfectly spiced and delicious, this is a homemade recipe for lasagna worth holding on to! I'd love to include your recipe on our blog, please let me know if you're interested. :)

    Sophie, Key Ingredient Chief Blogger


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