There are people in this world who don't like cheese. Even as I type those words, I know what the words each mean - individually. But put those words together and I just don't understand. My brain gets an error message. Does.not.compute. You don't like cheese? You may as well tell me you don't breathe air.
I digress. I love cheese. Looooooooove cheese. I also love pasta. And sauce. And garlic and onions. (I swear if Yankee Candle made a "Sauteed garlic and onions" candle, I'd buy it.) All of these things make lasagna my favorite food. You know when you get those emails with 25 questions to get to know you better? Invariably one of the questions is What is your favorite food. I used to never know how to answer that and one day I was sitting down to dinner and realized that this was it. Lasagna.
Well, except that my favorite food is MY lasagna. I would never order it in a restaurant. I get nervous when people make it for dinner at their house. I like my lasagna, my way. I have no idea where I got this preparation from. My family is northern Italian and the northerners like their lasagna with a bechemel. As a matter of fact, I never remember having lasagna at my grandmothers house. Mine is more southern in preparation, in that I just use a ragout.
1 box lasagna noodles (works well with no boil or traditional)
16 ounces of your favorite sauce (I am planning to post my favorite pasta sauce soon)
1/2 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bags pre-shredded mozzarella
handful of grated parmesan
For the ricotta filling
16 ounces ricotta
handful shredded mozzarella
handful shredded parmesan
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
salt and pepper
Whisk the egg until foamy with the salt and pepper. In a small bowl combine the cheeses, herbs and whisked egg and stir until combined thoroughly. Set aside.
In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until just barely soft. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add the ground beef, and cook until no pink remains. Season with salt and pepper Drain and set aside.
Spoon a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of your pan. Cover the bottom with your lasagna noodles. (If you're using no boil noodles, leave a little bit of space on each side, they'll grow as they absorb the liquid in the sauce.) Add 1/4 cup ricotta mixture then smooth over the noodles with a spatula. Top with a layer of half the ground beef, a thin layer of shredded mozzarella and a layer of sauce. Repeat all layers until you have reached the top of your lasagna pan. On your last layer, put just lasagna noodles, sauce, then a thin layer of mozzarella and a sprinkling of parmesan. I added some basil leaves to the top of mine as well.