Easy Lasagna - No Boil - Regular Noodles
Lasagna is so wonderful a dish why don't we have it more often? You say it's difficult and messy to make.
Well there are recipes that are a ton of work and dirty a bunch of pots and pans but it doesn't have to be that way!
This recipe uses regular lasagna noodles but does not boil them. You can prepare and bake this lasagna all in the same pan and not dirty another pot or pan!
Boiling lasagna noodles is really overrated. There really isn't any reason to do it. And you don't need those newfangled "oven ready" noodles. Just let the regular type noodles soak up liquid from the sauce and cook in the oven - Presto! Great lasagna without all the hassle!
Step 1: Ingredients
12 - Regular Lasagna Noodles
2 - 24 oz. Jars of your favorite Pasta Sauce
(I used Newman's Own Italian Sausage)
1- 15 oz. tub of Ricotta Cheese (I used part skim)
1- 16 oz. (4 cups) package of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 - 6 oz. (1-1/2 cup) package of Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup water (optional)
You will also need:
9 x 13 inch baking pan
1/4 cup measuring cup (optional)
Oven, timer, oven gloves, serving utensil, appetite... You get the idea!
Step 2: Test Fit Your Noodles
You're going to be piling those noodles into your baking pan, better make sure they fit laying flat (or close to it).
I used a 9 x 13 inch pan and could fit three noodles wide with some extra wiggle room. I also had extra space at the ends of the noodles that I filled with a noodle running sideways (broke it to the length I needed).
Step 3: Lay Down a Bed of Pasta Sauce
Pour about 1/2 of the first jar of Pasta Sauce into your baking pan and spread it out somewhat evenly.
Step 4: Lay Your First Layer of Lasagna Noodles
Lay down your first layer of lasagna noodles onto the bed of pasta sauce.
Step 5: Spread Your Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta Cheese is a spreadable cheese. Spread it onto the Lasagna Noodles. This may be better accomplished before placing the noodles onto the sauce (sorry about the late notice). I tried both methods, onto noodles in the sauce, and holding the noodles by hand and spreading the ricotta before placing them in on top of the sauce. I have to say that the hand-held method is slightly easier.
Use about 1/2 of the Ricotta Cheese to cover all the noodles (mostly covered is OK). Alternately you can use 1/3 of the cheese if you want Ricotta on the top layer, but it's easier to spread the cheese if you go heavy-handed with it and put lots on - you only get two layers with Ricotta this way, but that's OK, its all in the lasagna anyway!
Step 6: Add a Layer of Mozzarella Cheese
Sprinkle about 1/3 of the shredded Mozzarella Cheese evenly onto the lasagna you're building.
Step 7: Add a Layer of Parmesan Cheese
Sprinkle 1/3 of the shredded Parmesan Cheese evenly over the lasagna.
Step 8: Add Your 2nd Layer of Pasta Sauce
Layer the remaining Pasta Sauce from the 1st Jar onto the lasagna and spread it evenly around.
Step 9: Add Your 2nd Layer of Lasagna Noodles
Add your second layer of lasagna noodles. I reversed the orientation with the 'filler' broken noodle at the opposite end. It doesn't really matter its just the brick-laying-instinct in me to offset the layers. :-)
Step 10: REPEAT....
Well, instead of adding steps ad nauseam you are just going to repeat the layering... For a total of three layers.
Sauce (1/2 jar) - Noodles - Ricotta (1/2) -Mozzarella (1/3) - Parmesan (1/3) = 1 layer
Total of 3 layers.
[As I mentioned the 3rd layer is missing the Ricotta, unless you divided it into thirds, then you're using 1/3 Ricotta for each layer.]
Step 11: Last Layer
Noodles - (no Ricotta) - Sauce - Mozzarella - Parmasean - DONE!
There you have it, you're ready to bake your Lasagna!
Step 12: Optional Step - for the Doubting Types a Bit of Extra Water...
For those of you that just can't see how this no-boil-regular-noodle-pasta-thing is going to work you can soothe your nerves by adding a 1/4 cup water (pour it down the sides) to the lasagna.
I've made this type of no-boil lasagna with and without the extra water, and it really does not need it. But you are allowed to add the water to calm your nerves, but it might be a bit more runny than you are used to. (You've been warned!)
Step 13: Cover With Aluminum Foil and Bake
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and press the edges firmly to provide a good seal. We are counting on all that liquid to stay inside to cook the noodles!
Bake covered 1 hour at 375 F.
Step 14: Remove From Oven and Let Rest... Ahhhh
Remove from the oven and CAREFULLY remove (using an oven mitt) the aluminum foil from the pan- lots of hot steam and condensation will pour out so be careful.
Let stand at least 10 minutes. Waiting a half hour is even better!
Step 15: Serve and ENJOY!
Serve and Enjoy!
This is good stuff - Now you can make it more often !!!