Simple Meat Lasagna

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Simple Meat Lasagna

My husband has told me for years that he doesn’t like lasagna, so I have never made it.  But my grandson loves it and so for National Lasagna Day, we decided to make it and my hubby said he would eat it.  Guess what?  He loved it.  Yippee!  I get to make it again.  And this is a very easy recipe that I got from America’s Test Kitchen.

SAUCE

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 ground beef
  • 1/2 ground sausage
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Pepper to taste

LAYERS

  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese (1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles, (from one 8 or 9 oz. package)
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees.

FOR THE SAUCE:  Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the onion and salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the ground meats and cook, stirring to break up the clumps, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, oregano and red pepper flakes.  Simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.  Season with pepper to taste.

FOR THE LAYERS:  Mix the ricotta, 1 cup of the Parmesan, basil, egg, salt and pepper until well combined.

Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.  Place 3 of the noodles on top of the sauce and drop 3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture down the center of each noodle, then spread it to an even thickness.  Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of the mozzarella.  Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the sauce evenly over the cheese.  Repeat this layering two more times.

For the final layer, place the 3 remaining noodles on top.  Spread the remaining sauce over the noodles.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and then the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.  Spray a large sheet of foil lightly with vegetable oil spray and cover the lasagna.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is browned and the sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes longer.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

To Make Ahead

The assembled, unbaked lasagna can be held in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 24 hours.  Allow the lasagna to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.  It can also be frozen, wrapped in an additional layer of foil, for up to 2 months.

To bake, defrost it in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then allow it to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.

NOTE:  If you do not want to make your own sauce, you can substitute jarred sauce (tomato only), you will need two 24 to 26-oz. jars (6 cups).

“When you have found food for your soul lead others to the Source.”

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