It’s a cool, WET day here, so it’s the perfect time to think about a hearty pasta dish for Louise’s on-going contest. October is also Pasta Month you know!
Now, I confess that as many times as I’ve made this, I have no photos. So… here’s a photo of the Knight opening presents before his 40th birthday dinner, where I served this very dish to 40 of his nearest and dearest.
Warning: This is a firehouse or dinner party portion. It serves a dozen or more hearty eaters. However, I think you could easily enough scale down to feed a smaller group… unless you’re Marjie and cook for a crowd regularly!
Helpful hints: Pre-arrange for someone else to clean up the kitchen when you’re done.
- 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef, cooked with fresh garlic, salt and pepper to taste, drained, and patted dry
- 1 lb. Italian sausage, uncased, cooked, drained, patted dry
- 40-60 ounces of your favorite spaghetti sauce (no meat varieties are best)
- 2 lbs. whole milk ricotta cheese
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups fresh grated mozzarella cheese or Italian blend from the cheese case at your grocer
- 2 cups grated Parmeasan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 2 Tablespoons Pampered Chef Italian Seasoning
- 4 boxes no-boil lasagna noodles (trust me…)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Crumble meats. Blend both together with 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning in one bowl. Set aside.
- Combine ricotta, eggs, parsley, 1 T Italian Seasoning in a LARGE mixing bowl. When well-blended, fold in Parmeasan cheese and half of the Mozzarella or Italian Blend. Set aside.
- Pour 1-2 cups of sauce in bottom of large baking dish with deep sides. (I use the Pampered Chef Roasting Pan, rack removed.) Spread sauce evenly along the entire bottom of pan. Add more if necessary; the sauce is your “non-stick spray”!
Assembly: Repeat these layers until you are either 1″ from the top of your dish or running out of ingredients. Be sure to save some of the Mozzarella or Italian Blend cheese and meat for the top!
- Noodles. Follow the instructions on the box for spacing, but basically, keep in mind they’re going to grow and spread your toppings/layers with that growth.
- Ricotta mixture. I use a fairly thick coating, but know your audience… some people aren’t fond of ricotta’s texture, so if in doubt, thinner is better.
- Meat. Just sprinkle it on top of the cheese.
- Sauce. Trust me… just pour from the jar then smooth a bit.
Top layer: Noodles, sauce, meat, and then top with the remaining Mozzarella/Italian Blend cheese. Tent with foil. That means… cover, but don’t let the foil get near the grated cheese topping. Bake at least 75 minutes, maybe up to 2 1/2 hours. Sauce will bubble and corners will start to brown when it is done. Remove foil for the final 15-20 minutes of baking, or get impatient and use the broiler for about 2 minutes – but always check every few seconds when “broiling” cheese!
Allow lasagna to stand at least 15 minutes before cutting.
(Bonus recipe – click on photo for quick & easy skillet lasagna. I couldn’t leave you without some sort of lasagna photo!)