Here’s a recipe you want to do on a day you have some extra time. I like to double the batch and freeze half. I’ve also made this in four square pans instead of two 9×13’s and frozen three if it’s just my family eating it. When we have company, I make it in a 9×13 casserole dish. All in all, the time investment to make this amazing lasagna is worth it, especially if you get four meals out of it over the next few months. So. Good.
I put my water on at the stove first thing so it’s going in the background. Making the sauce is the first step and is pretty simple as you go thru the recipe steps. You’re going to end up with a pretty thick, delicious chunky meat sauce. If you need it to be thinner (I’m not sure why but hey…) just thin it out with some water to your preference. I always think, “Man, this is really thick! Is it always this thick?” It always is. And it’s always fine.
Your noodles will probably be done by the time the sauce is done. Drizzle some olive oil over them in the pot after you drain so they don’t stick together. I do this with most of my pasta but it’s definitely necessary for lasagna as it can get really sticky. If you have some extra time waiting for the noodles or the sauce here, go ahead and grate your mozzarella.
Mix the ricotta layer next. I like to put some parmesan in the ricotta mix, myself – about ¼ cup. I am a purist when it comes to ricotta. Give me whole milk ricotta or give me death. There are those who like to use cottage cheese or some other lower fat alternative. Not me. If it’s not whole milk ricotta, we aren’t really living. It’s not like you eat this every day. Unless you live in Tuscany. In which case, I salute you.
Now you’re ready to assemble. I usually get three layers into my dish. My kitchen looks like a battle field afterward but again, it’s worth it. Pasta, meat sauce, ricotta mix, mozzarella, repeat. Top with more mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan and put it in the oven. I like crispy cheese on the edges so I finish mine with a few minutes under broil but you don’t have to if you have a thing about browned cheese. My family doesn’t like the browned cheese so I just make them all give theirs to me and all is well. Enjoy, friends!