When we first started hosting Sunday dinners, one of the things I knew I wanted to make sooner rather than later was a classic lasagna. Can you believe that I have only made one a couple of times in my entire life!? I’ve been making some different lasagna varieties lately – like mushroom lasagna and a cheesy lasagna bolognese – but it’s been years since I made a classic version, complete with a layer of ricotta cheese.
My sister and I have different memories of lasagna at my grandma’s house growing up… I never remember hers having a layer of ricotta, but my sister swears that it did. Either way, a tray of lasagna always conjures up memories of sitting around my grandma’s dining room table on Sunday afternoons, so I was excited to make my own version to place on my dining room table on Sunday!
You can use fresh, homemade sauce for this lasagna, pull a batch out of your freezer (that’s what I did!) or use your favorite jarred variety – any of it will work! I used no-boil lasagna noodles, which makes this a really quick dish to assemble, especially if you already have some sauce made. I put this together in less than a half hour while Joseph napped on Saturday afternoon, then covered it and put it in the fridge. All I needed to do on Sunday was pop it in the oven, which was perfect.
I love lasagna for so many reasons, and layers upon layers of noodles, cheese and sauce just cannot beat – plain and simple. My mom often says that I’m like my grandma’s soul mate for so many reasons, which is a huge compliment… I can only hope to make my family feel just as welcomed and well-fed as she did!
In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, Parmesan, basil, eggs, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.
Spread ½ cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Top with 3 of the lasagna noodles, then dollop one-third of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle 1¼ cups of the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta, then spread 1½ cups of the sauce over the cheese. Repeat the layers of noodles, ricotta, mozzarella and sauce two more times. Place the last three noodles on top of the sauce and spread the remaining sauce on top, ensuring that the entire surface of the noodles is covered in sauce. Top with the remaining 1¼ cups mozzarella cheese and the ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, then return the lasagna to the oven and bake until the cheese on top is browning and the lasagna is bubbling, about 25 additional minutes. Allow the lasagna to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Note: The assembled lasagna can be covered with plastic wrap and foil and frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw the lasagna for one day in the refrigerator, then allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking. Remove the plastic wrap, replace the foil and increase the baking time to 30 minutes covered, then 25 to 30 minutes uncovered.Nutritional values are based on one serving