Does everyone love lasagna? It’s true for my family. It’s an all-in-one-dish, ultra-satisfying, affordable meal you can make any day of the week. If it seems too complicated, remember that looks can definitely be deceiving, especially in this case.
This recipe is fast, easy, TOTALLY delicious, and it tastes like you spent all day simmering and baking. Not that you are trying to deceive anyone but it’s truly reassuring to produce something this fantastic with such minimal preparation. People who like things complicated might call this the lazy person’s lasagna, but if you are reading this recipe you aren’t lazy, you just want something good. As good food goes, this is a bull’s eye.
Slow Day Lasagna
9×12″ baking pan
8 – 10 whole wheat lasagna noodles (semolina noodles are fine, also)
Marinara Sauce (see recipe post)
Ricotta Filling (recipe follows)
1 lb mild Italian sausage, cooked thoroughly
2 c grated fresh mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 c water, divided into 1/2 c portions
1 c whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 T chopped fresh basil or 2 t dried basil
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and arrange each of the ingredients in front of you: dry noodles, marinara sauce, ricotta mixture, meat, grated mozzarella cheese, and water.
- Line the bottom of the baking pan with one layer of dry noodles, breaking them as necessary to fit the pan. Leave about 1/4″ to 1/2″ space between the noodles to allow them to expand as they cook. (You will make 2 more layers of uncooked noodles, for a total of 3 layers.) Pour 1/2 c water over the noodles into the bottom of the pan.
- Ladle the marinara sauce over the dry noodles, spreading it evenly to the edges. Use a little less than 1/3 of the sauce, so that there is enough to make 2 more generous layers.
- Dollop half the ricotta cheese mixture over the Marinara sauce, dropping it in small, evenly-spaced spoonfuls.
- Sprinkle 1/2 the crumbled, cooked meat over the ricotta cheese.
- Repeat steps 2-5: dry noodles, water, Marinara sauce, the remaining ricotta cheese mixture, and the rest of the meat.
- To finish, lay the remaining noodles over the meat layer, and pour the water over the top.
- Spoon the remaining Marinara sauce over the noodles, thoroughly covering any exposed noodles. The noodles must stay covered completely in order to stay moist. (Any areas of noodles left exposed during baking become hard and unappetizing during the baking process.)
- Cover lasagna tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove the pan from the oven and check to see if the noodles are cooked through. You can poke a knife into it at any spot and if it slides in easily, the noodles are done. If not, put the dish back into the oven for another 10 minutes.
- When the lasagna is done, remove the foil and sprinkle the grated mozzarella cheese over the top. Put it back into the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the dish sit at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Divide into squares, and enjoy with a fresh green salad and warm baguette with butter.