Sunday, 21 March 2010

Mark's Lasagna

I made this lasagna today and invited my sister Jennifer, her 3 kids and my mother-in-law over for dinner. With lasagna ... the more, the merrier (this way my family doesn't have to eat left-overs all week!). I received this recipe from my sister, Jennifer. It's actually her brother-in-law Mark's recipe and it was the only lasagna that her kids would eat. With that kind of praise from a couple of 6 year old twins, I had to try it myself since my own kids aren't big on lasagna.

This lasagna was a simpler version than the lasagna I typically make. By simple, I mean that there weren't lots of chopped veggies (mushrooms, onions, peppers etc) ... which is probably why the kids gobbled it up! I loved the texture of the ricotta cheese and the fact that it wasn't a really thick lasagna -- this leaves more room for salad and garlic bread!!

The next time I make it I think I'll add some finely diced mushrooms and onion and see if I can still fool the kids. Also, instead of the fresh parsley, I"ll finely dice up some spinach for some added vitamins .... and so I can chuckle when my spinach fearing kids ask for seconds of a dish with the dreaded spinach in it!

By the way, 2 of my kids gobbled this lasagna up (amidst all of the giggles coming from the kids table I wasn't sure how much food was actually being eaten) so it's two thumbs up for this lasagna!!

1 lb lean ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Ricotta cheese
2 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated (divided)
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (divided)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 (700mL) jar spagetti sauce
1 1/2 cups water
approx. 12 oven-ready lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large skillet, cook meat and garlic until meat is no longer pink. Drain off grease. Stir in pasta sauce and water. Mixture will be fairly runny.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan, parsley and egg. Mix well and set aside.

Spread 1 cup of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan. Top with approximately 4 lasagna noodles then 1/3 of the ricotta mixture. Repeat layers two more times. If you don't get the same number of layers, don't worry. As long as you have at least 2 repetitions of each layer you're fine.
Top with last 4 noodles and remainder of meat sauce. Sprinkle with 1 1/4 cups of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Cover with a piece of greased tin foil (greased side down!) and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes then serve. Enjoy!

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