Friday, December 30, 2011

Easy Lasagna

It's been a long holiday season.  During this time, you always want what you can't have the rest of the year.  And because I'm usually tired of cooking by this time, I try to find a really large dishes that will last at least 2 additional nights.  For me, this includes a nice saucy lasagna.
I can't say I know where this recipe came from.  My mom got this from a friend or co-worker,she passed it on to me, and I've always made it this way. To save time, I use jarred pasta sauce, but if you have an awesome tomato sauce recipe, by all means, use it.
I'm not sure how Italian this is, but it's still awesome.  Impress your friends with this dish or eat half and stick the rest in the freezer for another lazy night. Enjoy!

serves: 10 to 12

1 pound ground beef, 80/20
1 pound ground pork or Italian sausage out of the casing
1 cup onions
2 cloves garlic2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, divided
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
lasagna noodles (no boil work great)
4 - 5 cups tomato pasta sauce (about 1 1/2-24 ounce jars)
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
2 15 ounce containers Ricotta

In a large pan, brown meat. Once cooked, drain fat and set aside. In the same pan add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sautee onions and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes to wake them up. Add salt and pepper. Mix in the meat and let cook for 5 minutes. Set meat aside to cool.
Set large pot to boil, salt very generously,  and cook 12 to 16 lasagna sheets al'dente, about 1 minute less than package instructions. Set aside in a little cold water to prevent sticking.
In a bowl pour Ricotta and mix in 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning.
Begin assembly of lasagna in an 11inch x 15inch baking dish. Spread  the dish with enough sauce to lightly coat bottom to prevent pasta from sticking.
Begin layering: pasta noodles, about 4 or 5 with a little overlapping (cut to fit), spread 1/3 of Ricotta mix, spread 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce, sprinkle 1/3 of the meat mixture, and sprinkle 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese.
Layer 2 more times. The top layer will end up with 1 cup of mozzarella and 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano.
Cover lasagna with aluminum and put in oven set at 350°F for 30 minutes. Once bubbly, take aluminum off and let top brown for 10 to 15 minutes.
Take lasagna out of oven and let sauce settle before cutting.

Note: The no boil noodles are a different size from the normal noodle, so layer to fit baking dish and break them to make fit.

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