Melt-in-Your-Mouth Lasagna

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lasagna-recipe-with-ricottaThank heaven for the person who invented oven-ready lasagna noodles!  What would I do without them?  The  ease, simplicity, and convenience they offer  had me sold from the first time I tried them – I never make lasagna any other way.  This is one of my all-time favorite every day recipes, but it’s also wonderful to serve for company.  For a variation,  you can add a very thin layer of cooked, chopped spinach on top of each layer of ground beef …

1/4 c                       olive oil

1/2 c                       finely chopped onion

1                              clove garlic, finely chopped

1 28-oz                  can crushed tomatoes

1 5 1/2 oz              can tomato paste

5 1/2 oz                 water

1 tsp                       dried basil

1 tsp                       dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

1 lb                         extra lean ground beef

2                              eggs

3/4 lb                      Ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese, but it will lost the melt-in-your-mouth factor)

9                              oven-ready (also sold as “express”) lasagna noodles

3/4 lb                      Mozzerella cheese

1/4 c                       grated Parmesean cheese

 

To make the sauce, saute onion and garlic in olive oil.  Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer, covered, for one hour, before proceeding, stirring often.  Preheat oven to 350º F. Saute beef until no longer pink.  Combine eggs, Ricotta cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover the bottom of a lasagna dish with a thin layer of sauce, then a layer of uncooked oven-ready lasagna noodles (3 noodles);  top with a layer of beef, then Ricotta, then thin slices of Mozzerella and another layer of sauce.  Repeat the process until all ingredients are used, ending with a layer of noodles, topped with Mozzerella, topped by sauce, and then sprinkled with Parmesean cheese.  Bake 30 minutes or until top is bubbly.  Serves 4-6.

The No-Carb Alternative:

Note: To “healthify” this recipe and turn it low-carb, substitute slices of a very large zucchini (skin on) for the lasagna noodles.  After slicing into long strips, sprinkle with sea salt, and set aside for 15 Minutes. The salt will draw the moisture from the zucchini so you don’t end up with a soggy lasagna. Pat dry with paper towel before layering the zucchini into the pan.

 

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