Basic Lasagna

This will probably be one of my longest posts ever! It’s not fancy or complicated… just long. Basic lasagna is a great recipe to have in your back pocket. You can add stuff, replace stuff… make it just the way you want. I make lasagna in a double batches. If you’re going to make one pan you may as well make 2!! You can throw the other one in your freezer or better yet take it to your neighbor, give it to a family that just brought home a new baby, take it to a family you know could use a night off of cooking, or maybe even a college student nearby that could use some good home cooking. Share the love, people!!!

So, keep that in mind if you intend to only make one pan of this… you’ll need to cut everything in about half.

Here’s most of what you need… I forgot one key ingredient here. Can you guess???

While you’re thinking… throw your meat, if you’re using any, into a hot skillet. I used ground turkey. You could use ground beef, italian sausage, or no meat at all!

Next get out your biggest pot and fill it 3/4 with water and throw in a good amount of salt.

Here’s what I forgot… sauce!!!

Get out a couple big baking dishes. This one is perfect. 9 x 13 and almost 4 inches deep. The deeper the better. Like I mentioned I did 2 pans of this but I didn’t see it necessary to document both pans so you’ll just have to trust me πŸ™‚

Also, get a large bowl to mix your cheese mixture in… start by cracking in 3 or 4 large eggs. If you do a single batch 2 eggs are fine.

Next comes 2 containers of ricotta. Yes, you can use cottage cheese if you want. I won’t judge you πŸ™‚

Then comes about 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese.

and a couple of cups of shredded mozzarella…

By now your meat may be browned and ready to go. Just shut the heat off and let it hang out in the pan.

Fresh spinach is great in here and if you chop it up finely it will almost disappear into the finished product.

Throw this right into your cheese mixture bowl.

Follow that with some salt and pepper and maybe some thyme, oregano, parsley… whatever…

Give that a good mix and set aside.

Somewhere in there your water probably started boiling. Drop your lasagna noodles in. I like to spread mine around the pot so they aren’t in one big clump. You can use the no bake lasagna but the cooked noodles really aren’t that… really. You should at least try it once. Note: My other pan was made with gluten-free Tinkyada lasagna noodles and I DO NOT boil those first, even though the box says too. They cook just fine in the lasagna without pre boiling and there is actually some noodle left when it gets to your plate instead of disintegrated mush!

This is me patting the noodles down into the water… very intense technique… pay no attention to the band-aid… Be sure to stir your noodles every now and then.

Let’s get started!! I don’t grease my pan. End of story there. I do pour into the bottom of the pan enough sauce to cover the surface.

Then I shake the pan around to distribute it. You could spread it around with a spoon if you’re not big into shaking πŸ™‚

After about 10 minutes in the water your noodles should be done. They are not al dente. They are about 3/4 done and should be kinda stiff. Dump them into a strainer. After most of the water has drained I put the strainer on a dinner plate to catch any additional water and move the whole thing to where I’m assembling the lasagna.

Down go the first layer of noodles. The noodles were screaming hot so I used tongs to work with them. No need to be a hero here…

Next comes about 1/2 of the meat that you are going to use for this pan. So… if it’s a double batch… about 1/4 of the meat…. got it???

Next take a handful of the cheese mixture and crumble it over the meat. Don’t get picky here… no one will ever see this layer to know how well you did πŸ™‚

After that sprinkle on a handful of shredded cheese…

Then drizzle over about a cup or more of sauce. I don’t measure… just enough to cover the surface. I don’t spread it around too much either. It will all find a home in the oven.

Next up is another layer of noodles…

Then the remaining amount of meat for this pan…

Crumbled cheese mixture…

shredded cheese…


then another layer of noodles. You should be out of meat now so this layer is just cheese… mmmmm

a little more shredded cheese and then sauce…

Finally your last layer of noodles… yes, I see that sauce on the side of the pan…

Now a good amount of sauce to cover everything.

and a small handful of cheese and maybe a sprinkling of parmesan if you felt like it… I did…

And for all my OCD friends… a picture after I wiped off the spot of spilled sauce πŸ™‚ Now either into the oven at 375 for about an hour covered until the last 10-15 minutes or cover with plastic wrap and foil and into the freezer. If you go the oven route…

You will soon have this!! Who doesn’t love lasagna?!?! This is simple but comforting and feeds a good sized crew… you gotta try it!

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1 Response to Basic Lasagna

  1. Callie says:

    Save me the crusty cheesy edges! Looks sooooooooo good!

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