I don’t know about you, but lasagna is one of my favorite dishes. We just had a big pan of it the other night, and it was some of the best lasagna I’ve eaten. In fact, I just finished off the last piece.
This must be a good time of the year to fix lasagna. When I mentioned to Marian Moen, a friend of mine at the gym, that we had lasagna, she told me that her daughter who lives in Fargo had told her about some she’d just made. And when I met some other friends at a local coffeehouse just before the holidays, they said that their traditional Christmas Eve meal was lasagna.
The nicest thing about the lasagna that we had was that it was made with no-boil pasta. Therese had picked up a package of the Creamette no-boil lasagna noodles when they were on sale recently at our neighborhood Hugo’s supermarket.
Making lasagna with the no-boil noodles takes a lot of hassle out of the process. If there is one thing I don’t like about making lasagna it is how the strips of the cooked pasta stick together and tear after you take them out of the hot water.
Here’s the recipe for lasagna that we used, although we did tweak it a bit, adding some basil and oregano and substituting ground bison for the beef.
16-ounce package no-boil lasagna
1 quart spaghetti sauce
1 pound ground beef
1 cup water
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup water
Â¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
Dash of nutmeg
Salt, pepper to taste
Â½ cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a saucepan, brown ground beef, drain excess fat, add 1 quart spaghetti sauce and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. In a large bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, beaten egg, mozzarella cheese, 1/3 cup water, Â¼ cup Parmesan cheese, parsley flakes and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper if desired.
Rinse no-boil lasagna stripes in hot water. Layer in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Approximately 4 strips will fit in a pan for a single layer, 3 lengthwise and 1 crosswise.
Layer as follows: 1 2/3 cups sauce, lasagna strips, Â½ cheese mixture, 1 2/3 cup sauce, lasagna strips, rest of cheese mixture, 1 2/3 cups hot sauce, lasagna strips, remaining sauce. Top with Â½ cup Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees, covered with aluminum foil, for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8.