My mother makes the best lasagna in the world. Happy Birthday Mom! I love you! I ask for it for my own birthday. This is not her recipe. But I still think it is really good. I have made lasagna for years. In fact, it was the first “complicated” meal I ever attempted.
It’s is one of those dishes that looks hard to make, but is incredibly easy to execute. I find it calming to make the layers. I also feel like a superhero when I view the final completed project. And who doesn’t want to feel like a superhero? Well, unless it is The Hulk. Nobody wants to feel like The Hulk. Unless you are a ten year old boy. Or me, apparently from all of the posts I have done on it. But even then, you gotta admit the name leaves much to be desired.
Remember my new favorite spaghetti recipe that uses coffee grounds and is made in the crockpot? Well, I usually have three quarts of sauce left after the first dinner that I separate into three individual quart containers and freeze for use at a later date. I have friends with three sons. Actually, when I think about it, I have a lot of friends with three sons. I have heard that with that many boys they do not get as many leftovers as I do with a recipe. In fact, the exact words were, “What are leftovers?” I think with the crockpot spaghetti recipe, they would probably only have one to two quarts left after the initial dinner. There should still be enough to freeze at least one additional meal, so if you have a larger family, do not be discouraged. Make it. Save the rest. Then make a giant lasagna that will appease all. Even three growing boys.
The other day I took one quart out of the freezer. This is completely off topic, but make sure you defrost any sauces appropriately before you reheat them. I thought it would be a great idea to just throw the frozen sauce into a pan and bring it to heat. The sauce broke up into nuclear hot parts and frozen chunks. It splattered out and hit my arm where it made a small hole. I eventually had to see a doctor for it. I will definitely have a scar from it, so please be careful in reheating.
So, I defrosted the sauce first and then reheated the sauce and added an additional jar of pasta sauce to make it stretch further.
Then I just layered it into a lasagna. It was so good.
Okay. Finally. On to the recipe:
1 quart of prepared spaghetti sauce (I use this recipe, but you could use your favorite)
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
One package of lasagna noodles (you can use no-boil ones or the fresh ones above. I highly recommend the fresh ones above, found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near the ricotta. Do not use regular lasagna noodles unless you boil them first. I have attempted to use them without boiling. They are not as good. They are about one minute before al dente tasting)
2 cups grated mozarella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
15-16 oz. of ricotta cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Yell, “You’re making me hungry! You won’t like me when I’m hungry!” If your family stares at you during this time, stare back, unwavering in your lasagna conviction.
Defrost spaghetti sauce for two-three hours and then reheat in a large pot over low heat with additional jar of pasta sauce until hot. Turn off heat.
Take a 9 X 13 pan and ladle in some spaghetti sauce into the bottom of the pan until the bottom is just coated. About 2/3 cup.
Take lasagna noodles and lay on top of sauce. This is two of the fresh ones above.
Take half of your ricotta and smear over lasagna noodles. Ladle one third of your sauce over the top, sprinkle one cup of mozzarella cheese. Place noodles over cheese. Spread the remaining ricotta over the noodles. Ladle one third of your sauce over the top. Sprinkle one cup of mozzarella. Lay noodles over cheese. Ladle the remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle one cup of Parmesan cheese over the top.
Cover with foil and bake for thirty minutes. After thirty minutes, uncover and bake for an additional fifteen minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest for five to ten minutes.