Saturday, October 26, 2013

Mom's Lasagna

Hello hello!  Today I'm going to share yet another recipe from my family cookbook.  This is another one of my mom's.  Also, Thomas is always up for lasagna.  Everytime I give him a choice between lasagna and something else or just tell him that that's what we're having for dinner, he gets really excited.

One of the things I love about lasagna is that you can customize it really easily.  Sometimes I make it with ground beef or Italian sausage, and sometimes I'll go meatless.  You can easily adjust it to make any size pan so you can feed a couple or a crowd.  And you can always use your favorite brand of sauce or mix it up with some different Italian cheeses.  It's so easy to play around with so that you get slightly different results each time.
But, as always, the worst part about making lasagna is actually making it!  The layers take some time (especially because I tend to be a perfectionist), but other than that, it's a great meal that is also delicious for leftovers.

As you'll see in the directions, my mom has a specific way of layering everything.
Noodles first...
Then sauce (she adds the ricotta on top of the sauce, but mine always turns out with big lumps of ricotta in some places, so I mix the ricotta and sauce together and add it in one layer)...
Then both mozzarella and parmesan cheeses...
And repeat until you're finished!  I usually do about 4 layers, but it's really up to you and how thick/thin your layers are, the height of your pan, when you run out of ingredients, etc.
As you can see from the photos, I made my lasagna in a 9x5 pan this time.  I didn't want a whole pan of it in the fridge for the next week (that is waaaay too many leftovers for me), so I made two loaf pans and stuck one in the freezer for some other time.

Mom's Lasagna
From: my Mom!
Makes: a 9x9 pan, 7x11 pan, or two 9x5 pans

12-15 lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground beef or Italian sausage (or you can also omit)
12 ounces mozzarella (or other Italian) cheese
15 oz. tub ricotta cheese
Regular sized jar of pasta sauce
Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook lasagna noodles as directed on package.  Drain to dry.
  2. Brown meat in a skillet and drain (if including meat).
  3. Add pasta sauce and ricotta cheese to meat and stir to combine.  (You can also add some spices if you like.  My mom likes to add oregano, and I usually throw in an Italian seasoning blend that I have.)
  4. Layer ingredients in an ungreased pan in this order: noodles, sauce mixture, mozzarella cheese, parmesan.
  5. Repeat until your pan is full or you run out of something.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Serve this up with a fresh salad and some Mess Up Bread, and you've got a delicious homemade meal!  Enjoy!

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