Bakers Anonymous asks: What’s for dinner?

For me, there is nothing more quintessential Italian than lasagna. I can remember my Grandma Ciraolo making it from scratch, her arthritic hands carefully crumbling the ground beef, layering the cooked noodles and spooning out the pasta sauce. It was a treat when we had it because my grandfather preferred spaghetti on Sundays. I think it’s old man thing. 🙂 So when we here at Bakers Anonymous thought it was time to make our foray into the world of savory, we couldn’t pass up the chance to make this baked dinner. The following recipe is a modified version of this one from Southern Living.

Easy Lasagna Dinner

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 45 mins
Serves: 6-8 (for me it made leftovers!)

Ingredients:

1/2 lb of lean ground beef
(I used 85 percent lean)
1/2 lb of ground sausage
2 jars of pasta sauce (I ended up using Francesco Rinaldi’s Mushroom and Pepper)
15 oz container of ricotta cheese
1 package of shredded mozzarella
Ground Parmesan cheese
No-cook lasagna noodles (truly the best invention ever)

Directions

1. Brown the meat over the stove until there is no more pink and the meat is crumbly. I left some of the meat in chunks because it adds toothiness to the dish. I cooked the sausage and beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian spices from McCormick (I’m in love with this grinder).

2. Add the pasta sauce to the dish. Stir together until thoroughly incorporated. Remove from heat.

3. It’s time to start layering up the lasagna. Start with a layer of the sauce and meat mixture. While you’re making the lasagna, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. By the time you’re finished with the layering, the oven will be at the right temperature.

4. Layer three noodles over the sauce and meat layer.

5. Carefully spread the ricotta over the noodles, making sure not to break the pasta.

6. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the ricotta. I also mixed in some pepper, salt and garlic powder to carry the flavor through the entire dish.

7. Repeat the layers – sauce, noodles, cheese – another time. Then, for the final layer, do sauce, noodles, sauce, using the last of the sauce and meat mixture on top. I sprinkled extra Parmesan and mozzarella on top before baking.

8. And this is where our beloved aluminum foil makes an appearance. I couldn’t line the pan with the foil (don’t think I didn’t want to), but I figured covering the entire dish to prevent over-browning and to keep the sauce from boiling over into the oven was a good idea.

9. Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes. Then, carefully remove the foil and bake for an additional five minutes to slightly crisp up the top noodles.

10. When done, let the lasagna rest for about five to ten minutes. This will give the meal time to settle down and harden up, making it easier to cut and serve.

Enjoy!

Niki’s Note: This is a very easy lasagna to make, but I hope you prep faster than I do, because I was able to put my lasagna into the oven after an hour of prep work. I would like to point out that having the dogs in the kitchen does not make things easier on the lady trying to cook.

And there you have it, our first savory dish at Bakers Anonymous. I look forward to making and sharing more with you as my cooking repertoire expands.

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