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Monday, July 18, 2011

Cheesy Lasagna

My little guy loves italian food. On a two hour car trip home from the lake on Saturday, he crushed three pieces of pizza. Pasta? Loves it. Gnocchi? More please. Stuffed shells? Keep 'em coming. He's not so big on ravioli, but most Italian foods don't stand a chance. I am proud that I am raising  a child that is not a picky eater. He's always willing to try new foods - which is awesome because I am always trying new things in the kitchen. 

I have never really followed a recipe, per say, for lasagna. I always just layered noodles, a mixture of ricotta and italian cheeses, and sauce. This recipe taught me several things: 1.) Start the layering with sauce at the bottom of the pan. 2.) Eggs are added to the cheese mixture. 3.) Start with sauce, then the layers of noodles, cheese, sauce. 4.) Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray before putting over the lasagna. It will prevent the cheese from sticking. Worked like a charm.  Next time, I will use this sauce.

P.S. Rollover coupon for Classico pasta sauce! Print now and save for a sale. It's always nice to have a jar of pasta sauce around should a case of the lazies show up.

1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 eggs
2 (32 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

If using oven ready noodles, skip this paragraph to the next step of the directions. If using noodles that require cooking, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and lay lasagna flat on foil to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, salt and pepper; mix well. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and saute garlic for 2 minutes; stir in spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning. Heat sauce until warmed through, stirring occasionally, 2 to 5 minutes.

Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Cover with a layer of noodles. Spread half the ricotta mixture over noodles; top with another noodle layer. Pour 1 1/2 cups of sauce over noodles, and spread the remaining ricotta over the sauce. Top with remaining noodles and sauce and sprinkle mozzarella over all. Cover with greased foil.

Bake 45 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and top is golden.

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