Lasagna is Easy

Lasagna is easy to make – did you know that?

It is! You can even mess up like I did (in this post) and it still looks, smells, tastes mahvelous!

Fry up some onions (about one medium to large, although I used frozen pre-chopped here).

Then stir fry some ground beef, about a half pound.

Add a teaspoon of salt to the beef

and then remove the excess oil (grease).

Don’t be lazy like I was and try to balance a heavy skillet with one hand and catch the ground beef from falling into the sink with a slotted spoon in the other hand.  (See all that meat and grease that fell on the counter there)?

There is a Mexican proverb, “The lazy man ALWAYS works double.”

I don’t know why, but that saying just speaks to me.

Spoon in the tomato sauce.

Ahem. It just so happens that I made this tomato sauce all by my very self from the tomatoes in our garden, seasoned with garlic, onion, olive oil and basil. And I can’t explain why, but I wanted to cry from happiness while making it.

If I had used canned sauce, I would have used two large jars of tomato-basil spaghetti sauce (if you want to know the amount).

Now, save some plain sauce with no meat for the bottom of the pan.

And make one layer with your lasagna noodles that don’t need to be pre-cooked.

Mine are gluten free, which can be hard to find in France without needing to cook them first. So I’m grateful, but … they are thicker than non gluten-free noodles, and there really isn’t a proper amount in one box for a 9×13 pan of lasagna, which is what I’m making.  It simply doesn’t cover the whole pan.

But lasagna is easy! So we’ll roll with it.

Now. Onwards. I needed to remove some of the excess water/juice from my tomato sauce because it was homemade (I’ve never had to do that when using canned sauce).

See – this is what it looks like when drained.

It’s now time to prepare the cheese mixture. Two containers of ricotta cheese

And 1 ½ bricks of mozzarella cheese.

Yes, yes I know this is not real mozzarella because it’s not made with buffalo milk, but we’re on a tight budget here and I just think you people shouldn’t be so snobby about cheese.

(Just kidding). Grate it up and you’ll want to save the other half of the second brick to sprinkle on top.

Add four eggs

and chives!

Two tablespoons of chives.

And your cheese mix is ready. (Do mix it, of course).

Spread half of it on the noodles.

Then cover that with tomato-meat sauce.

Here is where I should have put a layer of meat sauce before adding another layer of noodles, but I forgot! (Do notice that I put the noodles criss cross – perpendicular from the layer below – it helps it to hold together when you serve it).

So, the noodles directly on the cheese means there won’t be enough for a top layer of noodles.  I put the sauce on top of the noodles instead and that messed up my order.

But you know what? Lasagna is easy. No one is ever going to know.

Basically, another layer of cheese, another layer of meat sauce and another layer of noodles is how the story goes.

Top that last layer of noodles with more meat sauce and cover that with the other half-brick of grated mozzarella.

Or something like that.  I’m getting confused with all these layers!!

But you get the point right?

Into the oven you go. 350°F for about 45 minutes to an hour, but keep checking on it that it’s not getting too brown.

And this is it. Can you smell it from there?

I promise you, people will ooh and aah and think you’re a master chef, but deep in your heart you’ll know …

that lasagna is easy.

How do you make your lasagna?

I am the daughter of a symphony musician who was raised in upstate New York, and I simply breathe all things classical, be it music or 19th century literature (English and Russian). I married Sir Renaissance in New York City, and before I knew it, he had swept me up and brought me back home to his own country. So here we are. Three children, a rather ordinary life in a rather exceptional place. I am now ‘A Lady in France.’

Posted in Food, La Cuisine (The Kitchen), Main Dishes, Tout le Reste (Everything else)
25 comments on “Lasagna is Easy
  1. Leanne says:

    Are you kidding me???? Your ‘Ahem’ made me laugh out loud! So, how do I make my lasagna? I say these simple words, “Waiter, I’ll have the lasagna!” but something tells me YOURS is tons better than mine! Can I come for a visit? Pretty please? ;)

  2. Stephanie says:

    Lasagna is freaking awesome! I use cottage cheese, parmesan and mozzarella.

  3. Anne says:

    Yum! I love traditional meat lasagna but my kids won’t eat lasagna with tomato sauce (strange, hunh?). So I make white spinach lasagna with basil, ricotta, mozarella and parmesan. Easy and no, it doesn’t matter if you mess up the order! I mess it up every time.

  4. Rach says:

    Oh wow this looks delicious! And I’m amazed that you made your own tomato sauce too! Kudos to you! I’ve wanted to try that, but haven’t gotten to it.

  5. My mom always used cottage cheese, but my MIL used ricotta, so you can guess which way I end up making it. We use hamburger also like you did. I know some people use ground sausage, but I just have never caught on to that taste.

  6. Deidre says:

    YUM! I’ve never been a huge fan of lasagne because I don’t mozzerella cheese – I KNOW. I am crazy. but this looked delicious and it made me possibly want to try again.

    I make what i like to call “enchilasagne” which is enchiladas/lasagne. it is delicious and easy. NOM nom nom

  7. amber says:

    My stomach is growling now. I may have to make some lasagna soon!

  8. Mmmmmm- how I wish I could smell it!!!!! You are a tease as this week I’ve really been drooling for some lasagne, but haven’t had a moment to put it all together. Now I’m gonna have to!!

    love that you have a recipe section now!!!!! I’m headed to check out your version of the tomato tart- just made one yesterday and want to see how I can tweak it to be like yours next time :)

  9. Jessica says:

    Looks SO good, three of mine can’t have dairy otherwise I would be making this every day.

  10. I make mine similar to yours (I don’t make tomato sauce fresh from my garden but I don’t use jarred, either; I use tomatoes/paste/water/garlic/basil/oregano/bit of sugar before adding meat/onions).

    I have never seen anyone add sauce to the bottom of the pan or criss cross the noodles before.

    Yet it makes so much sense now that I think about it.

    I’ll try this technique tomorrow when I make lasagne for my kids’ first day back-to-school dinner.

    It’s their favorite.
    AND it’s easy ;-)

  11. Carole says:

    Yum! Oh, what I’d give for your homemade tomato sauce….

  12. Alexandra says:

    Though this looks delish, where is your vlog???????

  13. Andi says:

    My mom was not a very good cook, but she could make a mean lasagna! I have never attempted it myself, neither has my hubby, the closest he has come is moussaka if that makes sense?! I do love to order it at restaurants from time to time, it is my kind of comfort food.

  14. amanda says:

    This makes me want to skip breakfast and go straight to dinner! Yum, I just saved this recipe. :)

  15. Ameena says:

    Lasagna is easy…it’s one of the few things I can actually make without completely ruining dinner. And it looks pretty fancy too!

    Now I’m hungry for dinner and it’s only 7 am. :)

  16. Kate says:

    It’s one of my great sadnesses that my children won’t eat lasagna. Then again, my family recipe is for spinach lasagna. Oh, so easy too! Just some frozen spinach mixed with your cheese and layer ay. When I was dairy free, I even made it with tofu instead of ricotta. Yes, my husband could tell, but if I do half cheese, he can’t.

    Maybe my girls will learn to like it?

  17. Mom says:

    Tell dairy-free she can use mashed tofu. One of my recipes said to add onion powder to it. Then she could use soy cheese.

I'm Lady Jennie - Welcome to A Lady in France!

I think I was born in the wrong era. I am meant to live in the 19th century. In England. Born into an aristocratic family that is independently wealthy and doesn't need to marry off its daughters to save them from becoming spinster governesses. ( To continue reading, please click here. )

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