I haven’t made lasagna in a long time and this is the simplest and best lasagna I’ve ever made. I couldn’t get enough. For eighteen months, the only lasagna I was exposed to was the frozen crap (ala Stouffers, but worse) at military mess halls in Iraq and Afghanistan. I rarely had it.But, what I made really had an impact. I was thinking that I loved it so much because I just hadn’t had good lasagna in so long. But, I confirmed with others that this batch was exceptional. I was happy that my taste buds were on target and had not been destroyed by Army food.
In any case, this is probably the simplest and easiest lasagna I’ve ever made. No herbs, no spices. The only salt, outside of the cheese used, was the salt I put in the water to boil the noodles. Without further ado, here is the recipe:
- 1/2 lb ground beef (I use 85/15)
- 1 tablespoon or less of olive oil
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 1 lb package lasagna noodles
- 1 lb ricotta cheese (don’t use cottage cheese)
- 1 lb mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Cook noodles in a large pot of salted water. Strain in a colander when done.
Add a small amount of olive oil to a cast iron frying pan and add the ground beef. Brown and pour off excess fat. Add the three cups of tomato sauce and simmer very gently.
Once the noodles and sauce are ready, assemble the lasagna in a baking dish, ideally one that the noodles fit in neatly. Spread a very thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Place a layer of noodles. Then place and smooth dollops of ricotta on top of the noodles, followed by a layer of thinly sliced mozzarella. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and add a thin layer of sauce, then another layer of noodles. Repeat until the dish is filled. The top layer must have noodles, a thin layer of sauce, and the remaining Parmesan cheese. This keeps the noodles on top moist and adds to the flavor.
Cook for 45 minutes, remove from oven and let sit around 15 minutes. Then, enjoy.