I may have mentioned that I’m gluten intolerant. I have only recently learned this, so I am still finding my way when it comes to gluten-free cooking. So here is my latest find and associated recipe.
First things first, you’re going to need marinara. I make my own, but you could just as easily buy the jar stuff. What ever floats your boat! For my household, I find that the Italian sausage that I buy, while delicious, is a little too much flavor wise. I remedy this by adding in plain ground pork that I get from the regular old meat department at my local grocery store.
What you’re going to need:
4 cans marinara
3 lbs Italian Sausage, ground pork, or hamburger
6 cups shredded mozzarella or Italian Blend cheese
2 large cartons Ricotta or cottage cheese
You’ll notice I do up a lot! These amounts make two huge pans of lasagna. We typically eat one and freeze the other for those days when cooking just isn’t going to happen.
Step One: Fry up your Italian sausage/pork/hamburger in a pan and add it to the marinara. Make sure that all the meat hunks are very small (otherwise your noodles won’t lay right as you are layering).
Step Two: Cover the bottom of your casserole dish with sauce. This keeps the noodles from baking onto the bottom of the pan. I always make sure that I have a good thick coating because I can’t stand baked on noodles (eww, gross!).
Step Three: Lay out a layer of noodles to cover the sauce. You don’t have to cook them or anything. Just take them right out of the box and start layering. Try to cover the whole area, even if you have to snap off little pieces of noodle to make it work. You can even snap these in half long-ways if you need to. Keep the pieces that you snap off for filling in the smaller holes. You’ll understand what I mean as soon as you start doing this step. It is kind of like a puzzle, only you have to make some of the pieces to fit.
Step Four: Once you have the noodles layered on the way you want them, sprinkle your shredded cheese across the top of the noodles.
Step Five: After the shredded cheese, you want to layer on your ricotta or cottage cheese. The best way I’ve found to do this is to spoon out like dobs of cheese and then use the back of the spoon to smear it about. Be careful because if you use too much pressure, you’re going to disturb your lower layers.
Step Six: Layer your sauce, noodles, and cheeses again and again until you’re below the top edge of the pan (it likes to boil over), ending with a final layer of sauce.
Step Seven: Top with shredded cheese and pop it into the oven at 375 degrees. Let it cook for about 1 hour sometimes a little more. It depends on the thickness of your sauce, in my experience. If you think it is done, use a butter knife and poke at the very center. If the noodles are still the least bit hard, cook it some more.
Step Eight: Once your lasagna is done, pull it out and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Otherwise, you’re going to burn the crap out of your mouth because it is going to taste so good!
Enjoy and let me know how it turned out!