Lasagne "Al Forno"

Author: Dave & Sandy
Serves 8


1 box (1 lb.) curly-edge lasagna noodles 30 oz. marinara or spaghetti sauce
1 ½ lbs. chopped meat 1 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. part-skim ricotta cheese 3/4 lb. part-skim mozzarella cheese
¼  cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste

Saute the chopped meat in hot pan and break it up into small particles.  Pour off fat.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.  Reserve half a cup of marinara sauce, and add the balance to the meat mixture.  Allow to cook about 15 minutes longer.

Bring 6 quarts of water to rapid boil.  Add 2 Tbs. salt and 1 Tbs. olive oil.  Add lasagna noodles 2 or 3 pieces at a time to boiling water and cook according to package directions, about 10 minutes.  Add at least 2 glasses cold water to stop the cooking process.  Drain and return lasagna to cooking pot, adding a little warm water to facilitate handling.

Grate mozzarella cheese coarsely.  Place ricotta cheese in a bowl, add the reserved marinara sauce, and stir to mix (this makes it easier to spread the ricotta).

Spread a few tablespoonfuls of meat sauce in bottom of baking dish.  Cover with a layer of lasagna.  Place a layer of mozzarella and ricotta cheese over the lasagna.  Add some sauce.  Arrange successive layers in like manner ending with a layer of lasagna.   Add sauce to top layer and sprinkle with grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese.

Cover dish with aluminum foil (crimp foil around edges).  Can be prepared ahead to this point and refrigerated until ready to bake.

Bake in a moderate oven (375°) for 20 minutes (35 minutes if lasagna has been refrigerated).  Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Serve hot.

For leftovers, reheat on plate in microwave with additional marinara sauce.

Notes and Variations

Serve with salad, red wine, parmigiano-reggiano cheese for dessert.

Jane adds additional spices to the meat sauce, usually onion, garlic, and basil, as well as sliced mushrooms, but lets Justin add the hot sauce at the table.

Can be prepared with ground turkey.