3 lb. hamburger; cooked and drained very well
1 box lasagna noodles; cooked al dente
Marinara sauce; doubled (recipe to follow)…don’t forget to double the recipe if needed
1 large green pepper, small chop
1 lb. mushrooms; rough chop
1(30 oz.) container Whole Milk Ricotta cheese
16 oz. finely shredded Mozzarella cheese
¼ cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt to taste
- Prepare marinara sauce and allow to cool to room temperature.
- After hamburger is cooked and drained completely, return back to stovetop and add peppers and mushrooms. Cook on medium heat until mushrooms get soft. Drain meat mixture again and salt to taste and add about ½ cup of marinara sauce to meat mixture; stir well. Allow to cool while preparing noodles.
- In a large bowl; mix Ricotta cheese and 4-6 oz. Mozzarella cheese together. Add parmesan cheese if desired and mix.
- Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions for al dente. Drain, toss with a little olive oil and keep warm until use.
To Assemble Lasagna:
- Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease 13×9 inch baking pan.
- Spoon small amount of marinara sauce on bottom of baking pan and lay out first row of noodles, slightly overlapping one another.
- Spoon small amount of marinara sauce over noodles. Top with hamburger mixture, then ricotta cheese mixture, then mozzarella cheese, then sauce. Lay second row of noodles on, slightly overlapping one another and repeat the topping procedure. Your last layer of your lasagna should be: noodles, sauce and chees…lots of cheese! (I like to use freshly grated Parmesan Gruyere cheeses instead of Mozzarella)
- Bake in 350˚ oven for 30-45 minutes or until heated through and cheese is browned on top. Remove from oven and let stand for 7-10 minutes so the cheeses can mold everything together tightly.
- Slice and enjoy with garlic bread and a salad.
Inner Chef Note: This makes a large portion and leftovers can be frozen in individual servings or divided into family servings. Store in airtight freezer containers. May be frozen for up to 4 months.
Marinara Sauce Makes: About 3 cups
(Taken from Bucca de Beppo’s cookbook and altered)
This recipe can be doubled and frozen in serving sizes in ziplock freezer bags. Use this marinara sauce for meatball subs, pizzas, and as a light pasta sauce.
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
½ Red onion, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, small chop
1 (28 oz.) can Crushed tomatoes
2-4 Tbsp. Fresh basil, chopped (use more or less depending on your love for basil)
1-2 tsp. Sun-dried tomato paste
1. In a 3-qt. saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, cook until golden brown, approximately 8 minutes. Watch the carefully so the garlic does not burn.
2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1/8 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, and then cook over low heat for approximately 30 minutes, stirring often so that the tomatoes do not burn.
3. Turn off heat and add fresh basil and taste for more salt. Let stand for about 6-8 minutes so that the basil flavor can marry into the tomatoes.
You can freeze leftovers by allowing to cool, then placing amount desired into ziplock bags and seal tightly. Marinara can be frozen for up to 3 months. I usually put about 1-2 cups per bag depending on what I plan to use it for and how many I am serving.
Remember that once you defrost the sauce you cannot re-freeze it.