1/7/11

Simple Lasagna


Lasagna is one of the first meals I made for my husband. He loves it. I love to make it for him. I don't make it often because I am a full fat cheese kind of girl and if I ate lasagna every week my heart would probably stop from all the cheese loaded in my lasagna. 

So beware that this is not a low-fat version but it's a delicious and wonderful treat every now and then. Since my husband and son started back to work and school, respectively, I made this as a special dinner.

This is a great recipe to double. You could cook one and freeze the other. Then you will have dinner down one night down the road or dinner to give to a friend.

Simple Lasagna 
Created by: Simply Fit Mama

1 box lasagna noodles--you can use boil or "no boil" whatever you prefer
1 lb lean ground beef
1 jar of marinara sauce--your favorite I like to use Trader Joe's Organic Marinara
1 15oz ricotta cheese 
1/2 cup of good grated Parmesan cheese (not the green can people), divided
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp garlic powder, divided
Sea Salt and fresh pepper to taste
1 egg
1 bag of mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375. 

I like to use the boil noodles so if use those noodles get a pot of salted water boiling first. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain off any fat in the skillet return to the stove. Next add 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Now add around a quarter of the jar of marinara. You just want to get a nice coating of sauce on the beef, you don't want the beef floating in sauce. Turn off the stove and set this pan aside.

Add your noodles to the salted boiling water. Set your timer so you don't forget to get the noodles out before they overcook. You want the noodles to be al dente. It takes about 7-8 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. Now drape the noodles on the side of the pot so that they don't stick together in a big clump. If you are using no boil you can skip this step.

Take a medium mixing bowl and add all the ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder, 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano, salt and pepper and 1 egg. Mix this all together until it's combined.

Now get out your pan. You can use a 13x9 for a thinner lasagna or an deep 8x8 for a thicker lasagna. Pour a little marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan so that the noodles don't stick. Now start making the layers. Start with the lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese mixture, ground beef, a handful of mozzarella cheese and repeat. When you get to the final layer of noodles spoon some marinara on top of the noodles (like your making a pizza) then add some Parmesan and finally top with a good layer of mozzarella cheese.

Go ahead and cover the pan with foil. Bake for about 30-35 minutes and then remove the foil to let the cheese on top bubble up and brown a little. Total bake time 45 minutes. 

Try to let the lasagna rest for 10-15 minutes so that it will be easier to cut.

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