Classic Lasagna for Two – Updated (YUM)

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces ground beef, turkey, or bison
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, salt, ground mustard, a pinch of salt, basil, oregano
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained with 1/4 cup juice reserved
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

Filling, Noodles, and Cheese

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup)  ricotta cheese
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus 2 tablespoons, grated
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 4 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)

Instructions

This lasagna is delicious when made ahead; it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking, wrapped in plastic wrap and foil. Remove and let sit for 30 minutes before cooking. 

For the sauce: Mix ground meat with a variety of spices and herbs (as listed), as you see fit. Let sit. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in seasoned meat and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 2 minutes.

Stir in half and half, bring to simmer, and cook until liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and reserved juice and tomato sauce. Bring to simmer and cook until flavors are blended, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the filling, noodles, and cheese: Combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, egg, salt, and pepper in bowl.

Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce over bottom of loaf pan, avoiding large chunks of meat. Lay 1 noodle in pan, spread one-third of ricotta mixture over noodle, sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella, and top with 1/2 cup sauce; repeat layering 2 more times. Lay remaining noodle in pan and top with remaining sauce, remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella, and remaining 2 ­tablespoons Parmesan (If making ahead, now cover and refrigerate).

Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray. Bake until sauce bubbles lightly around edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until hot throughout and cheese is browned in spots, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

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