The Mother-In-Law of Lasagna

 Clearly a pregnant person has taken over my blog; hello, first ever food post.  This is the first recipe my mother-in-law gave me shortly into Kellen and my marriage.  Needless to say, it's a go-to.  Super easy.  I'd always thought lasagna was the hardest and most time consuming thing ever.  False.  Without further adieu...  
{Disclaimer:  I was over halfway through making this when I decided blogging it would be a good idea, soooo yup.  Just so you know}  
Start by browning a pound of hamburger - you can use turkey burger, if that's your thing.  When it's all toasty brown, start with a layer of no-boil lasagna noodles smothered in ricotta.  I used to skimp on the ricotta.  Let me tell you- the best lasagna resulted from not skimping on the ricotta.
Start by setting your oven to 350 degrees and browning a pound of hamburger - you can use turkey burger or sausage, if that's your thing.  When it's all toasty brown, start with a layer of no-boil lasagna noodles smothered in ricotta.  I used to skimp on the ricotta.  Let me tell you- the best lasagna resulted from not skimping on the ricotta - use the whole tub throughout the layers.  Next pour on 1/3 of a jar of spaghetti sauce, any flavor will work perfectly, choose your potion {although I will say the four cheese kind is out of this world - but experiment to find your fave}.  Back to the browned meat - now is your chance to throw 1/3 of that pound on top of the sauce.
 Next add a layer of spinach.  This was a part I threw in to try to add some more nutritional value to it.  If you're not a fan - don't do it.  You can add whatever you want here.  A veggie you love?  Do it.  After your add in {or not} toss in a generous amount of mozzarella cheese.  I go through a whole 12oz bag {and then some if I have more in my fridge.  I blame Wisconsin cheese-heads for that}.  Also, if you're near a Trader Joe's, don't walk, RUN, to get a bag of this Lite Shredded Mozzarella Cheese.  It's the gooey-est, most delicious mozzarella I've had in ages.  Do it.
 
And WA-la.  You're done with a layer.  Personally I do 3 layers of the previous steps.  By the second layer you are going to want to smash things down.  Wash your hands and press away.  Things will ooze out the side and that's perfectly fine.  Place some aluminum foil over the top, but loosely so it's not actually touching the cheese.  Just wrap around the edges of your 9x13 pan and try to leave a little puff in the middle.  Toss in the oven for 30 minutes.
 I personally like to add some bread to my meal, so while the lasagna is baking I butter two pieces of sourdough bread and toss some shredded Parmesan cheese on top.  Once the 30 minutes are up, pull the lasagna out of the oven and take the foil off.  These cheese should be melted and gooey looking.  Now, without the foil, put it back in the oven with the bread for another 15 minutes.
And viola.  Lasagna and a happy hubby.  Lasagna usually ends up lasting us a couple meals {unless we have friends over to enjoy it as well}.  It's a hearty meal and makes for happy tummies {and as of late, heartburn later in the night.  Watch out for that if you're expecting}.  Not too hard and ever so good.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

9 no-boil lasagna noodles
large tub ricotta
2 quarts spaghetti sauce
1 lb hamburger {meat}
12 oz spinach
1+ lb mozzarella cheese

1.  Brown meat & set aside
2.  Layer in order written above 2 or 3 times:
          noodles (3),
          Ricotta
          Sauce
          Meat
          Spinach {or whatever you want to add in}
          Mozzarella cheese
3.  Put foil on top of lasagna, trying to keep it from touching the top of it (so that cheese doesn't stick to foil).  Bake with foil for 30 minutes.
4.  Remove foil and bake another 15 min. 
5.  Total baking time is 45 minutes.
6.  Take out of oven and let "sit" or "rest" 15 minutes.



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