Meat Lasagna

Here is a very easy recipe for lasagna.  There’s nothing fancy here, just good home-made taste!

Now that I am doing menu planning I like to cook a double batch of whatever I’m making and put it in the freezer for future use.

Things like enchiladas, chile verde and lasagna make great freezer meals. I wrap the meal well and label with the date. Then take it out a couple of days ahead to thaw. Great for those busy days when you just don’t feel like cooking at night – and everyone still gets a home cooked meal instead of take out!

This recipe is for two full size lasagnas ( 9″ x 13″ casserole pans). You could make just one, but why make one lasagna when you can make two with the same amount of effort. All you need is an extra pan. I like to use disposable foil pans for the freezer so my regular casserole dishes are available for other things.

This is an extra-meaty lasagna because I had thawed a large package of ground beef.  You could easily cut the beef down to 2 lbs and still have enough for two lasagnas.

Ingredients:

16 dry lasagna noodles (one package)

3 lbs ground beef

1 TBSP coarse ground garlic powder

1 TBSP Italian Seasoning

2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

1 extra large container of spaghetti sauce (about 3 regular size jars)

2 15 oz containers of ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

1/2 cup grated parmesan or Roman cheese

2 TBSP dried parsley

6 cups grated mozzarella cheese

 

Here’s how to put it all together:

1. Brown the ground beef over medium heat. Add Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. Drain excess fat.

2. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.

Extra meaty sauce!

3. Meanwhile, boil water and cook noodles according to package instructions.

4. In a medium bowl mix ricotta, egg, parm or Romano and dried parsley

The ricotta cheese mix. Use fresh parsley if you have it on hand.

5. Drain noodles. Remove meat sauce from heat.

6. Begin layering by putting a small amount of sauce in the bottom of the pan. Just enough to keep the noodles from sticking.

7. Place 3-4 noodles in the bottom of the pan, overlapping a little is good. (Do each step for both pans if you are doing two lasagnas)

Smear a little sauce in the bottom of the pan (right) then layer noodles (left).

8. Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese mix over the noodles.

Spreading the ricotta can be tricky–just go slowly.

9. Next a layer of meat sauce.

Layer with a generous amount of meat sauce.

10. Then a layer of mozzarella cheese.

Mozzarella on top. Then repeat layers.

11. Repeat steps 7-10 for second layer. Top with additional grated parm or Romano. Cook uncovered at 375° F for 30-40 minutes.

The extra lasagna should be wrapped tightly in foil before placing in the freezer. Be sure the label it with the date.

To use frozen lasagna remove from freezer one day prior to thaw and bake with foil loosely covered for 45 minutes, removing cover after 30 minutes. To bake from frozen cook at 375° for approximately an hour, or until center is heated to 160° when check with a food thermometer.

 

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