Wednesdays Unplugged – Easy Lasagna

“Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.~ Frank Tyger

NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It’s my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian ‘Quote Cup’ passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, along with an update and photos of what has been going on in our lives. I love trying new recipes…and love getting recipes you would like to share!

It felt good to have a ‘regular’ family night again this week. The winner lately for an after-dinner game has been PRIORITIES… we learn a lot about each other as one person ranks some absurd choices in order from Love to Loathe, then everyone else works together to try match their order. It’s the best new game we have tried in a long time! Other things this week… rather than dying, my gift of an African violet is blooming!… our son saw a goldfish frozen into Lake Nokomis… and I have finally been out showing houses again, and even though mid-century-moderns are pretty few and far between it did my heart good to see the MCM metal design at the entry of a house I showed.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

As odd as it sounds, my tender stomach has been happy with only a few things these past few weeks… simple grilled chicken breast, King’s Hawaiian rolls, applesauce… and lasagna! We have been getting the lasagna ready made at Lunds & Byerlys, but I decided to make some this week to have on hand. I based it on a recipe from the cozycook.com.

EASY LASAGNA

Cheese Filling
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese, 2 cups
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ž cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Âź tsp pepper
Meat Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/3 lb. ground beef (or 3/4 lb ground beef and 3/4 lb sausage)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Lasagna
  • 12 lasagna noodles, plus extra in case of breakage (I used oven-ready noodles)
  • 2.5 cups mozzarella cheese
Prepare the Cheese Filling
  • Combine the cheese filling ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Zap it in the microwave to make it spreading consistency if needed.
Make the Meat Sauce
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and add one diced onion. Let them soften for 10 minutes. (This allows them to release a little sugar which is a nice offset to the acidity of the tomatoes.)
  • Add the ground beef  and increase heat to medium-high. Use a spatula to break up the meat so that it’s very fine and crumbled. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through. Add 3 cloves garlic during the last minute. Drain excess grease.
  • Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom and sides of the pot. Add 4 cups marinara sauce, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 teaspoon hot sauce, and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover partially and let the sauce simmer gently.
Preheat Oven – Prepare for Baking
  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Spread 1 heaping cup of meat sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Next, add 4 lasagna noodles (either ready for baking or cooked according to package directions), overlapping them if needed.
  • Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles, followed by about 1 ½ cups of meat sauce.
  • Top with 4 more lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture, 1 ½ cups meat sauce.
  • Finish with 4 more lasagna noodles, the rest of the ricotta mixture, and the rest of the meat sauce.
  • Top with 2 ½ cups of Mozzarella cheese.
  • Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray and place it spray-side-down on top of the baking dish to prevent the cheese from sticking to it.
Bake
  • Bake for 35 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 10 more minutes.
  • Remove and garnish with fresh parsley if desired. Let it sit for 15 minutes prior to serving to allow the layers to set. Serve with garlic bread with cheese.
Written By

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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