I watch a lot of cooking shows, but my favorite is Barefoot Contessa, which doesn’t have a lot to do with the subject matter at hand, but I thought you’d like to know. I was just sharing.
One of the things I have learned from watching these shows is that once a recipe has too many ingredients or too many steps, my eyes glaze over and I lose interest.
I have some criteria that a recipe must meet before I add it to memory. It’s gotta be semi-easy. It’s gotta be really tasty. And it’s gotta be something that’s adaptable…..meaning I can tweak it and have it still turn out well.
My fast and easy lasagna recipe fits all of those criteria.
I should start by saying that this is the way John and I like it…so you can change things if you prefer. The other great thing about this recipe is that you can make it for 2 or twenty.
My suggestion is to make more than you think you need. This makes great left overs and we are always sorry when it’s gone.
The things you need.
1 or 2 boxes of no cook lasagna noodles depending on size of baking dish (who wants to cook the noodles first???)
1 or 2 jars pasta sauce of choice again depending on size of dish (we like Rao’s sauce…but it’s hard to find)
1 sixteen ounce tub ricotta cheese
1 large bag shredded mozzarella
1 medium bag six cheese Italian mix shredded
2 handfuls (I know…very scientific) shredded parmesan cheese
1 pound meat (more if needed. This is the tweaking part….I use all mild Italian sausage. You might want to use chopped beef or something else.)
Garlic salt or garlic powder
Dash of milk
What to do with the stuff you have.
In a large skillet, sauté the meat in some olive oil.
When it’s almost done, add the garlic. You want it cooked …not burned.
Pour in jarred sauce and let it simmer on low.
Mix ricotta cheese, two eggs, one handful Parmesan cheese and garlic salt or garlic powder (your choice). This is usually pretty thick, so I add a dash of milk to thin it so that it’s more easily spreadable.
Mix shredded cheese and 2nd handful of parmesan cheese in a bowl.
It’s time to assemble.
Put a ladle or two of sauce in the bottom of your baking dish.
Cover with no cook lasagna noodles. (The first time you make this, you will try to make the noodles fit like you are building a suspension bridge. The second time you will realize that no one cares but you. Just make them fit. It’s okay if they overlap)
Spread thin layer of ricotta / egg mixture and a handful of shredded cheese mix.
Continue this until dish is full and / or you have run out of stuff.
Reserve enough sauce and shredded cheese to cover the top of the layers.
Cover with aluminum foil.
If baking immediately, bake at 400 degrees. Cook for 20 minutes with foil on and 20 minutes after removing the foil. (You want it brown and crispy on top. I know you do.)
If prepping ahead of time and refrigerating (and that’s okay. It works great)…..bake at 40 minutes with foil on and 20 minutes with foil off.
Oven temps vary and might make a difference in cooking time. Bake it till it’s hot inside and brown and bubbly on top.
This is better if you let it sit for 5 minutes after it comes out of the oven
This is not Grandma’s recipe from the olde country, but I can have it prepped in 20 minutes and on the table 40 minutes after that and as Martha says….that’s a good thing.
A one-hour recipe (from start to finish) that drives people carnival ape crazy is a sure thing in my book.
Add some sangria, a salad and some garlic bread and you have a party.