Just as I was starting to feel like a terribly hopeless slacker for taking 4 days to post Part 2 of our Spaghetti Sauce/Lasagna series, I recieved this ADORABLE piece of artwork from Rachel of I’m a Mom In Real Life. This might be the BEST endorsement one of my recipes has ever received…and what a great way to round out our lasagna post. Thank you to Diana for the rave review, and to her mom Rachel for sharing this adorable photo.
As the photo clearly illustrates, the sauce recipe is perfectly delicious poured over your favorite pasta, or on a meatball sandwich or a piece of bread…but it really does become something extra magical when baked into a traditional lasagna. And mine is about as traditional as it gets. Combining noodles, sauce and 3 kinds of cheese, this recipe is not for the faint of heart (or diet), but its perfect for a rainy Sunday, or for feeding a crowd (this is my mother’s go-to recipe for feeding her ravenous son-in-laws)…and its even better served as leftovers, once the sauce has had a chance to really soak into the noodles.
The lasagna itself is quite simple to assemble and only requires the time it takes to cook the noodles and layer everything into the pan. Then an hour in the oven and its time to eat. If you don’t feel like spending the entire day in the kitchen preparing the sauce, consider making the sauce the day before (though that might test your willpower), or…make your sauce in double batches and freeze half for later use. My grandma keeps a stockpile that could feed a village in an emergency. And what a happy village it would be ; )
Makes one large lasagna or 9×13 pan, which should feed at least 6
(or one JiT, my brother-in-law Mike and my 22 year old cousin Taylor after 3 hours of Wii)
1 cup part-skin ricotta cheese
2 Tbs. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 lb. lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained
1 recipe for Momma’s sugo
6 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated romano cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small dish, combine ricotta cheese, parsley and egg and mix until well blended. Set aside.
Using cooking spray or a bit of olive oil on a paper towel, lightly grease your baking dish. Then start the assembly by spreading about 1 ladel-ful of spaghettis sauce on the bottom of the pan. Layer in 3 lasagna noodles to cover the bottom of the pan. Next add another ladel-ful of sauce and a few tablespoonfuls of ricotta and spread the mixture evenly over the noodles. Top with a handful of mozzarella and a dusting of romano cheese. This makes up your first “layer”.
Continue layering the ingredients, starting with the noodles, then sauce, then cheeses until your layers are about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan, or you run out of noodles. Top the last layer of noodles with another coating of spaghetti sauce and cover that with an even layer of mozzarella and romano cheeses.
Place the baking dish in the center of the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until the top layer of cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling around the edges. If the edges start to become too crisp or brown for your liking, feel free to cover with a sheet of foil during baking and remove during the last 5 minutes. I like my edges crunchy, so I leave it uncovered.
When cooked, remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. This is very important! If you don’t let it rest, you’ll have a gooey mess on your hands and you’ll burn your tongue anyway, so be patient. Once rested, slice into squares and serve with extra sauce and romano cheese to pass.
Try to fight off the crowd and keep some leftovers for lunch the next day. You will thank me.