I used to think that making lasagna was so difficult. Not so. It's really a no-fail cooking experience. For a spinach lasagna version, see recipe.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef or 1 & 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 large onion, chopped
1 small or 1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jar (16 ounce) tomato sauce or make your own (2 cups)
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakessalt and pepper to taste
1 (16-oz.) container ricotta cheese
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella or other white cheese
lasagna noodles, uncooked
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley or basil
- Cook ground beef in a skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until browned. Drain on a paper towel and set aside. If you are using pre-cooked chicken, reserve it to add with the sauce in step #3.
- In the same skillet, saute' chopped onions and bell pepper until onions are transparent. Add garlic and stir together for a minute or so.
- Return cooked beef into the skillet; stir in tomato sauce, seasonings and garlic until warm and bubbly. Turn off heat.
- In a bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese and 3 slightly beaten eggs.
- Spoon about 4 or 5 tablespoons of the sauce into a 9 x 13" baking dish. Spread around with a spatula or spoon evenly over the bottom of the dish.
- Arrange a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles over the sauce. You can overlap them slightly or leave gaps, doesn't matter.
- Next, spread about 1/3 of the remaining sauce over the noodles.
- On top of that, spread about 1/3 of the ricotta-egg mixture.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
- Repeat layers in this order: noodles, sauce, ricotta, and shredded cheese until you end up about 3 layers and shredded cheese on top. The first time you do this (and for me every time), you will just have to judge how much to add to each layer. Sometimes I find myself running out of sauce. Just throw in a bit more tomato sauce or spread thinner. It's still going to be delicious.
- Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Remove foil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more or until slightly bubbly and a little golden on top.
- Let stand and cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
- Serve with a green salad and a big loaf of warm French bread.