Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Easy, Classic 3-Cheese Lasagna

The key to this lasagna is: stick to the basics, and plan ahead!  That's it...it's a classic recipe that you can make ahead to put into the freezer, or make in the morning so it's ready to pop into the oven.

I recently made this recipe at my daughter's house; we put it into a disposable pan and into the freezer.  It's a good thing, too since her baby came just a few days later!  When the day came to cook it, I simply thawed it  in the fridge for a day, and then baked it as usual.

15 oz Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb ground beef (I used 90/10 Ground Sirloin)
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasonings (Mrs. Dash has a good one!)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)
1 can or jar of spaghetti sauce (about 23-26 oz)
8 lasagna noodles, dry
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese (8 oz)

Spray the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish (or disposable foil pan is okay).
Crumble and cook the ground beef in a large skillet, along with the Italian seasonings and garlic powder. Drain off fat, if necessary. Add the spaghetti sauce and heat together.
Mix together the Ricotta and parmesan cheeses in a small bowl. Set aside.
Spread 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce mixture over the bottom of the baking dish.
Put 4 dry lasagna noodles over sauce, press down a bit, but don't break the noodles.
Next, spread 1 cup of the Ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles; sprinkle with 1 cup of the Mozzarella.
Repeat procedure: 1/3 Sauce; 4 Noodles: remaining Ricotta; remaining Mozzarella; Finish off by topping with remaining sauce.
Cover tightly with foil. (This keeps the moisture in, and helps cook the dry noodles.)

If desired, freeze for up to 1 month OR place in refrigerator for up to 24 hours OR cook immediately.
When ready to cook, heat oven to 350° F, and bake for 40-45 minutes or until noodles are done.
Let cool 15 minutes before serving. Cut into 12 generous portions.

I generally serve this with thick slices of garlic bread and a fresh green salad.

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