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Making a quick lasagna

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Help! A few friends are coming over for college football and need a quick recipe.My friend is helping me and doesnt want cottage or ricoota cheese in it. She also wants to use the no boil noodles which I've never tried. I want to use ground round and some italian sausage. Do I take sausage out of casing? What quick jar sauce can I use? Barilla brand? Do I use a mix of both mozzarella and parmesan chesses?

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  1. I don't like ricotta or cottage cheese in mine either.

    grease a rectangular oven dish, place some no cook lasagne noodles on the bottom. spread some precooked meat sauce (using barilla is fine but cook your minced meat with it for about an hour and make sure it's tasty - I do not know about using sausage never have). Then get a jar of white sauce if you haven't got time to make your own - I think barilla make one too. add some white sauce, add another layer of noodles, more meat sauce more white sauce and so on till you get to the top. Put some noodles on the top, white sauce (no meat this time) and grate some cheeses on top. Bake about half an hour/45 mins till brown and crispy.

    1. Any jared sauce you like will work.
      You can also make with regular lasagna noodles by covering the pan with a lid or foil and adding enough sauce and cooking long enough - usually an hour to and hour and a half for a 9x13 pan.
      But by all means put some sauce in the bottom of the pan so the pasta won't stick to the pan.
      Save the Parmesan for the top of the lasagna or it will be too much if you put it in all the layers.
      Add some diced onion, fresh spinach, mushrooms and artichoke hearts -YUM!
      Mozzarella should be fine by itself without cottage or ricotta.
      Italian sausage would be delicious!
      Enjoy your creation!

      1. To the sausage question, yes. Definitely take the casing off before you brown it up.
        Why not make a baked ziti or rigatoni instead? You just add chunks of mozzerella (part skim at least, 4% would be better since there's no ricotta) and the browned meats to the cooked pasta. Top with marinara and bake covered for 20 min. Uncover and add some shredded mozzerella and grated parm on top. Place under broiler until brown and bubbly.


        1. Americas Test Kitchen recommends soaking no boil noodles in hot water first for 5 -7 minutes and dry lightly--I really like it better that way. Use bechamel instead of ricotta. Muir Glen makes a good jarred sauce. Yes, take the sausage out of the casing.

          3 Replies
          1. re: chowser

            thanks all for ideas, we are about to make sauce. DH bought regular noodles, will have to try no boil next time. He got mozzarella and also a sm bag of italian blend of mozz, provolone, parmesan, asiago, fontina and romano shredded. ummm sounds good. A friend brought 2 jars of Bertolli sauces. I will try bechamel next time. Oh and the bake ziti or rigatoni sounds fun too. the only bad thing is UT is behind 2 touchtowns! thanks again I love this board. quick and great advice.

            1. re: SAnativegirl

              It may be too late, but you don't have to boil the regular noodles, either. The water in the sauce ought to be more than enough to cook them. Just make sure they don't stick up above the sauce in the corners.

              1. re: alanbarnes

                I second this. It's not idea, but makes lasagna much easier and quicker. Yes, make sure noodles are fully covered with sauce. Most jarred sauces work fine for this, but a thick pasty one might not have enough liquid to cook the hard noodles.

          2. On the cover of last months Italian Cooking magazine they had a picture of a lasgna made in a springform pan. Looked great. The recipe I've been using mixes half red sauce/half alfredo sauce with lots of grated mozzarella btwn the layers. I also use whole wheat lasgna sheet, which are a slight bit firmer once baked. We always brown the sausage out of the casing and crumble well. Which we cook in the red sauce for a hour before using in the recipe. But as a separate toss in btwn layers browned beef or sausage work well.

            Assembly is the 2nd quick tip after good ingredients!
            Enjoy the game!

            1. Here's my favorite "quick" lasagna, favorite because you can prepare it the night before and bake it when your crowd arrives (see option at end of recipe). It's not gourmet but more than adequate for parties or large crowds when you don't have a lot of time to spend futzing in the kitchen.

              This recipe does include ricotta, which I will list here, but feel free to leave it out. I've made it both ways.

              VIGO one-step lasagna noodles (or other brand)
              3/4 pound ground beef
              3/4 pound bulk Italian sausage (hot or sweet, your call)
              1 yellow onion, diced
              (2) 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
              (1) 8 oz. can tomato sauce
              (1) 6 oz. can tomato paste
              1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
              2 cups ricotta (optional)
              1 egg
              9-12 large slices processed mozzerella cheese
              1 cup grated parmesean cheese

              Brown ground beef, sausage and onion in a large skillet. Drain off excess fat. Add canned tomato produces and Italian seasoning then simmer for 15 minutes.

              Combine ricotta and egg in a small bowl if using.

              Spread 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the meat mixture in the bottom of a lasagna pan or 3 inch deep 9 x 13 baking dish (glass, ceramic or disposable). Arrange uncooked noodles over sauce layer taking care that noodles do not touch sides of pan or one another. Spread with 1/3 of the meat sauce mixture; dot with 1/3 ricotta egg mixture (if using); arrange mozzerella slices to cover. Repeat this process two more times creating three layers. Top with parmesean.

              Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 50 minutes; remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

              MAKE AHEAD: This dish can be made the day before, covered and refrigerated. Just add 15 minutes to the first (covered) baking time.

              TIPS: If the meat sauce is hot, your noodles may curl up when you spread it. Just wait about 30-60 seconds and they'll lay back down.

              Use seasoned diced tomatoes and omit Italian seasining.

              Try adding one 10oz package chopped spinach that has been thawed and well drained between the meat sauce and cheese in the second layer.