Many people think of lasagna as a complicated, involved, all-day cooking project. It can be, of course (ever read Marcella Hazan's recipe?), but here at the little dog laughed, it's childplay. This is your typical american lasagna, great as a make-ahead dish. It's perfect for letting the kids pitch in. We've made this together several times now and I find myself doing less and less every time.
Our Family Lasagna
Hannah grates about 12 oz of mozzarella cheese with our vintage, bright orange, Cuisinart rotary grater (picked it up at a garage sale, as new with all the blades).
Jonah mixes a 15 oz container of ricotta cheese with one egg and about a tablespoon of Italian seasoning.
Meanwhile, I brown about half a pound of ground meat (today we used turkey sausage) with some garlic and spices. Then I pour in a jar of spaghetti sauce and let Hannah stir. The kids each have a wonderful apron from Mimi The Sardine. They wipe clean very easily and are just too cute.
Ready to layer? A ladleful of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish (a 9x13 dish is perfect for our family with some leftovers), then a layer of noodles (I like the ones we don't need to pre-cook from Barilla). Spread half the ricotta mixture over the noodles, sprinkle on a fine layer of cheese and a third of the remaining sauce. Noodles, ricotta, cheese, sauce, noodles, sauce, cheese!
The lasagna is ready to bake. I bake it in a 375 oven, covered with foil for about 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes, until the cheese on top is starting to brown just a bit. The unbaked lasagna can also be covered and put in the fridge to be baked later--just add 10 minutes or so to the baking time.
Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving. Patience! It'll be hot! As you can see, this is not Hannah's favorite part... Enjoy!