The Cute Cook's World-Famous (and Easy) Lasagna

In this cold weather, all I want to do is eat comfort foods. I literally find myself dreaming of hearty, filling, decadent recipes. There’s something about the chill in the air that makes us just want to eat, bundle up, and hibernate. Now, most comfort food recipes are large enough to feed a whole army and way too much food for a single lady like yours truly, (even with the occasional gentleman caller) a fact that scares many of my fellow solo diners away from these culinary delights.  This is why God invented Tupperware and freezer bags, folks. Tonight's dinner can become tomorrow's lunch and next week's quick meal. Save yourself some money and time by cooking a grand dish like this on a Sunday afternoon and you'll be glad come Hump Day! 

PS-If you're worried about ruining your new year's resolutions with this recipe, you can use reduced fat cheeses and/or lower fat ground meat/meat substitute; you can also skip the meat all together for a veggie-friendly option . Oh yeah! And don’t forget to control the portion size, which is REALLY hard with this recipe….I’m just saying.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lg can diced tomatoes. (Strain the diced tomatoes so that there is no extra liquid in your sauce. It'll thin it out and NO ONE likes a runny, watery sauce.)
  • 1 lg can tomato puree
  • 3-5 tablespoons mined garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 diced red bell pepper
  • 1 diced green bell pepper
  • 1 diced yellow/orange bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of basil (I prefer fresh)
  • 3 tablespoons of oregano
  • 3 tablespoons of crushed red pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb 85/15 ground beef  (beef can be substituted for ground turkey or hot/sweet Italian sausage. If you’d like a meatless version, you can exchange the meat for grilled filets of eggplant or zucchini)
  • 1 16oz bag of shredded mozarella
  • 1 1/2 bag shredded parm
  • 1 8oz container Ricotta
  • 3 eggs ( choose an omega-3 rich variety for added health benefits)
  • 1 package no boil/oven ready lasagna noodles

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan,  mix together the first 8 ingredients over low heat. Allow sauce to simmer for an hour, stirring constantly. If you like your pasta sauce a little sweet, cut the acidity of the tomatoes by adding 1-2 tablespoons of sugar or Stevia. 
  2.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Brown meat in a skillet while sauce thickens.
  4. Beat the eggs and mix together with the ricotta.
  5. Pour one thin layer of sauce in an 8"x13" casserole dish.
  6.  Cover sauce layer with one level layer of noodles.
  7. Cover noodle layer with one thin layer of ricotta mixture.
  8. Top ricotta layer with a layer of meat.
  9. Cover meat layer with sauce.
  10. Cover sauce layer with mozzarella.
  11. Repeat steps 4-9 until you reach the top of your dish.
  12. Cover the entire lasagna with mozzarella & parmesan
  13. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour; the top should be browned and the lasagna should be firm.
  14. Serve with a salad and enjoy!