Okay, i'm going off the top of my head here because i make it a little different each time, but in general, this is how i make it:
lasagna noodles (i use both wheat and white)
pound of ground beef
several leaves of basil
a bunch of parsley
spaghetti sauce (either homemade or 1 1/3 jars)
Parmesan if wanted (i don't use it)
salt and pepper
Fry a pound of ground beef. To it add salt, pepper, garlic and any other spice you want. When it's almost done, add a handful of chopped basil leaves and parsley leaves. You can use dry but it just doesn't have the same effect (you'd use about a teaspoon of each i suppose). Add your spaghetti sauce. You can make your own or just use jarred. I do it both ways but tend to do the jarred more often because it's just easier. When i want to show off i do homemade. I can post that recipe if you want it.
Okay, now boil the water and add your lasagna noodles. I do half wheat and half white to be half healthy.
Mix the cheese mixture now. Take half a tub of ricotta (bigger size) and half the tub of cottage cheese (also bigger size) and 1-2 eggs and about 3/4 cup to a cup of mozarella cheese (shredded). Go ahead and shred the entire ball because you'll need it for the top and then some more if you are like us. To this cheese mixture add some more chopped basil and parsley. I also give it a sprinkle of italian pizza seasoning but it's not really needed.
Now take a couple cloves of garlic and slice them thinly. Take your lasagna pan and put a spoonful of sauce and spread over the bottom in a thin layer. Take your sliced garlic and spread them out over the bottom, take your lasagna noodles and put three lengthwise (it's okay if they overlap a little) and then one at the end if needed. Cover with meat sauce and then cheese and repeat for two more layers. With the top layer, you just want meat sauce, no cheese mixture. If you run out of meat sauce, i usually take the jar and put a little water in it and shake it and run it over the top (i usually do this in any case). Make sure sauce covers the entire top though...so if you need to use more do. I always use about a jar and then a quarter of another. On the very top, cover with the mozarella cheese...some people like parmesan in their lasagna but i don't. I don't like parmesan cheese except on top of spaghetti...not even on chicken parmesan...but you can add it if you like it.
Cover with tin foil. Here's where you have to make a decision. I like my lasagna twice baked because it always tastes better the second day.
So, what i do is bake it at 375-400 for 40 minutes or so the day before (or in the morning if you can't do that) and then rebake it at dinnertime for another 30 or so minutes.
For the last few minutes of baking, i turn the oven to broil so the top of the cheese gets those bubbles. It only takes a few minutes so if you do this, be very careful because it will burn quick if you leave it - you just want to do it for a few minutes.
Serve with garlic bread...take the loaf of french bread or italian bread, spread butter on it, put slices of garlic, and put under the broiler until toasted - about five minutes depending on your oven. Sprinkle with chopped parsley leaves.
A nice italian salad is the perfect begginner. Enjoy!clear="all">