Beef Lasagna (shortcut version)
Recipe: Beef Lasagna (shortcut version)
This is a mild version of lasagna. If you want it spicier, use a spicy spaghetti sauce or add 1 tsp of cayenne to the ground beef as it cooks.
This will serve 6 very hungry people or 8 as an entrée with Zola's Caesar Salad. You'll find that on the website too!
1 lb high-quality ground beef
1 box Barilla no-cook lasagna noodles
2 26-oz jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce
(You can even mix sauces. Choose the ones that have the ingredients you like best -- peppers, onion, mushrooms, garlic, you name it.)
4 cups shredded mozzarella (large bag)
1 package Italian mixed cheeses (8 oz.) (or parmesan)
2 cups (large tub) of ricotta cheese (low-fat or regular)
2 Tbl dried Italian spice mix
1 Tbl dried parsley
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray olive oil in your 9 X 13-inch pan. Brown the ground beef in a skillet in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Break it up into smaller, bite-sized bits as it cooks.
Open the box of noodles. Take 4 out and place them, slightly overlapping, in the bottom of the pan.
Mix the cooked beef into your spaghetti sauces in a bowl. Spread 2 cups of beef/sauce on top of the first layer of noodles.
Open the ricotta. Dip a spoon in the ricotta to make an indentation. Put the spices in the hole and mix carefully. (If you do this right you won't even dirty a bowl.) When thoroughly mixed, put 6 heaping tablespoons full of the ricotta on top of the lasagna. Position them around the area so they don't touch each other. Now layer on 1.5 cups of mozzarella. 4 more noodles are next. This time lay the noodles in the opposite direction. Press down on the noodles gently to compress the layer below. Layer the sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella again. One more layer of noodles goes on top. Top the final layer of noodles with the last of the sauce. Make sure no noodles stick out or they will get dry. Add the last of the mozzarella and then the whole bag of Italian cheese mix.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Let stand 10 minutes before you cut it. Great for leftovers too!
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