Basic (but delicious) Lasagna

IMG_0996Hi there–  Well, you probably have made lasagna more times than you can count.  But I just wanted to include a good basic recipe to work from here.  Made it for my father-in-law Stu’s birthday dinner.  There’s no one more fun to cook for than Stu.  He never fails to go on about how scrumptious dinner is, no matter how plain or fancy.  And lasagna is a favorite of his.  He orders it every time he and Helen go for the early bird special at their favorite Italian place.  So Happy Birthday Stu!!  You’re the best father-in-law a girl could have!!

1 package Barilla no cook lasagna noodles
1 pound Italian sausage
4 tab. olive oil, divided
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, grated
4 tsp. dried basil, divided
2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste
16 oz. mozzarella, grated
15 oz. carton ricotta cheese
2 eggs
3/4 cup parmesan reggiano, divided

Take the ground Italian sausage out of it’s casing (skin) and drop it into a hot pan coated with 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with 1 of the chopped onions.  Cook thoroughly, chopping at the meat until it browned and in fine pieces.

Then in another pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and add in the remaining chopped onion.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Then stir in the garlic and grated carrots and cook 5 minutes more.  Then stir in 3 teaspoons of the basil and the crushed tomatoes.  Season with salt & pepper until tastes just right.  Then stir the Italian Sausage and onion into the marinara sauce.

Mix the ricotta with the two eggs, the remaining teaspoon of basil and 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese.   Grate the mozzarella.

Now it’s time to layer it all up!  Spread a thin layer of the marinara sauce in the bottom of the largest 9″x13″ pan* that you have.  Then set in the sheets of dry Barilla lasagna pasta to cover the bottom of the pan.  On top of that layer of pasta, spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture,  1/3 of the tomato-meat sauce and then 1/3 of the mozzarella.  Then do two more layers just the same way.  Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan.  Cover the lasagna with foil– be sure it is loose enough to not touch the cheese on top.  And bake it all up in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. Then take off the foil and cook for 10 minutes more.  Enjoy all that hot cheesy, noodle-y, tomato-y flavor!  Hope you like it as much as Stu does!

IMG_1001*The 9″x13″ pan I have was not quite big enough– so I can make an extra small lasagna with this much ingredients in a loaf pan and have extra to give a meal to a friend…

Happy Birthday to you Stu!!
You’re the Best!!

2 thoughts on “Basic (but delicious) Lasagna

  1. Lasagna is one of my favorite dinners, but it’s been a year or two since I’ve made one from scratch. This looks so easy and delicious! I love the idea of making an extra mini lasagna in a loaf pan to give to a friend. How long did you bake that one?

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