I received a huge compliment today. It came from my teen daughter when she tried my lasagna, and even better, asked for more. You see, she has refused anything pasta or tomato based for years now. As a matter of fact, if you say the word “ravioli” to her, she nearly gags (drama, I know). Hence, the other family members suffer and rarely have Italian dishes. I do too, since many pasta dishes are easy and convenient to prepare. I didn’t care though… if necessary, she would just go hungry. Reluctantly, she agreed to taste the lasagna, and low and behold, she asked for more. I was honored!!! Anyway, here is the recipe.
This is an easy, no frills lasagna recipe that can be prepared the night before, or even frozen. As simple as it is, the taste is very good. Served with garlic bread and a Caesar salad, you have a great meal. I must pay tribute to my friend Michelle who taught me way back how to prepare this dish…
Classic Meat Lasagna
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 26 ounce jar spaghetti sauce (I like Prego)
- 16 ounces part skim ricotta cheese
- Lasagna noodles (go ahead, use the no boil!)
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, (if cooking right away.)
Brown ground beef and drain. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer until heated through. Now add the ricotta cheese an stir until thoroughly blended. In a 11 x 7 ” pan, place a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the dish. Now, in a single layer place three lasagna noodles. Top with more sauce, then mozzarella, and another thin layer of sauce. Repeat layers until it reaches the top of the dish, finishing with the sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for one hour, removing the foil the last ten minutes. If preparing early, cover well and refrigerate or freeze.
Note – the idea with no boil noodles is to cover both sides with the sauce, leaving no open spots on the noodles. I prepare a smaller portion (we had leftover too), but you can double the ingredients easily and prepare in a 9 x 13 pan, you will have to cook a little longer however.
I also prepared a Caesar salad using romaine, light dressing and more grated Parmesan cheese then topped it with croutons. This is a good way to get finicky kids to eat romaine.
Then finally, the all American Italian favorite, garlic bread. Can’t have pasta without it!