Some time last week, I must have seen lasagna or something on tv, because out of nowhere I decided I needed to make one. It’s been a while since I made one, and as I always I decided to peruse the interwebs and see what was out there. Pretty much all of them had looooooooooooooong lists of ingredients and instructions. It basically made me tired to read them, because as I have previously mentioned I am pretty lazy when it comes to making big giant recipes. I quickly realized that the vast majority of the ingredients in these recipes were for the sauce. They mostly required multiple cans of tomato paste and sauce and canned tomatoes and then 87 different spices then simmering all night and so on and so forth.
So that is how I came to make a really good lasagna using GASP! a jar of spaghetti sauce. You will need:
- 1 lb of ground beef, 80/20 works really well or you can go leaner if you like
- 1 lb of Italian sausage (Jimmy Dean makes a GREAT Italian sausage and you can find it next to the breakfast stuff)
- 1 large onion chopped
- 12 oz of lasagna noodles, regular or oven ready
- 46 oz jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
- 32 oz ricotta cheese
- 16 oz of mozarella
- 5 oz of grated parmesan
- 2 1/2 cups of shredded Italian cheese mix
- salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
- hot sauce
In a Dutch oven, brown beef and sausage. Add 1/2 cup of water to make it easier to ensure that the meats break up nicely. I despise meat sauce that has random giant hunks of meat so I obsessively mash the meats so they are consistently broken up. Drain if needed once it’s browned, and then add the onions and let the onions cook with the meat on medium for about 10 minutes on medium. Then add your sauce, I used this and it was perfect:
After you add it, you can let it simmer on low while you boil your noodles if you choose to use regular noodles. The oven ready noodles work just fine, I just happened to get the regular ones this time. While you are simmering, add salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and hot sauce to suit your taste. Remember this is your lasagna. I love a ton of hot sauce so I put a ton, but you may not want any. But after a few minutes of simmering and tasting to make sure it’s just how you like it, it should be ready.
At this point you can mix all of your ricotta, half of your shredded Italian cheese, and half of your parmesan (taste the mixture and see if it needs some salt, mine did). The other halves of the Italian and parmesan will go on the top of the lasagna. I used an extra deep disposable lasagna pan and I’m glad I did since I don’t think my regular 9×13 could have handled it. Spray the pan, and layer starting with a layer of meat sauce, cheese mixture, mozarella slices, then noodles and keep going until you have the last of the parmesan and Italian cheeses to layer on the very top. Spray some foil and make a tent over the lasagna, bakee at 375 for 35 minutes and then remove the foil and bake another ten minutes uncovered. Remove and try to let it sit for about 15 minutes before serving. This wasn’t possible with my husband but I did manage to snap a pic before he dug in.
This makes great left overs and since it’s just the two of us I froze a big chunk of it for later. So even though it has a few steps, it’s still easier than some of the more complicated recipes and it still tastes really good.