I have been making lasagnas for almost 20 years! It has always been one of my favorite foods. And as an elementary schooler, I would make lasagnas and give them as gifts to my extended family for Christmas gifts. So needless to say, I have eaten a lot, and made a lot of lasagnas over the years. One thing that I have learned is that I like a “lighter” cheese filling in my lasagna. Some lasagnas call for an egg/cheese/ricotta mixture but I find this too heavy and I have discovered a better way!
My favorite lasagna recipe calls for homemade béchamel instead of ricotta and a homemade bolognese sauce. Ooh, so good, but so time-consuming. I find that mixing a little milk with the ricotta makes a thinner and creamier filling, somewhat resembling the bechamel (i say that very loosely though). This is a quick simple recipe that I can whip together in under 30 minutes of prep time. It refrigerates well and is always great for leftovers.
2 jars tomato and basil tomato sauce/ marinara sauce**
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 cup whole milk
2-3 gloves minced garlic
1 lb cooked ground Italian sausage (i use sweet Italian, but if you like spice- hot Italian sausage is delicious!)
1 package “oven ready” lasagna noodles (you can use traditional noodles, but let’s be real, these oven-ready noodles are fast and easy)
salt and pepper
**use a sauce that you know and love. A cheap, poor flavored sauce can ruin this dish.
Combine the ricotta cheese, milk, parmesan cheese and garlic (you can also throw in some italian seasoning if you want). Combine 1 jar of the tomato sauce with the cooked ground sausage.
Grease a 9×13 pan. Pour about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the “plain” tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan. Add 1 layer of noodles. 3 noodles fit with room to spare (they expand as they bake). Add 1/3 of the cheese mixture and then top with 1/3 of the sausage and sauce mixture then top with another layer of noodles. Repeat the layering until you run out. You should end with a top layer of noodles. Next dump the remaining jar of sauce on top of the top noodles. Spread over- you don’t want any exposed noodles.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes add the shredded cheese and continue cooking another 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and then let cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Do you guys have any tried and true recipes?