17 April, 2019
Billie Jean’s Lasagna
12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 ½ cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
2 cups ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed but not cooked
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 pound ground beef (80/20 recommended)
½ pound ground sausage (mild or sweet Italian recommended)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Nature Seasonings (or Italian seasoning blend)
1 jar (24 ounces) Ragu “Chunky Garden Combination” pasta sauce
1 cup water
Preheat oven to 350°
Bring 3-4 quarts of water to a boil in a large sauce pan or stock pot. Add the lasagna noodles and cook just until al dente – soft but firm – about 10 minutes after the water returns to a boil. Stir a few times to avoid sticking. Drain in a colander and cover to keep warm while preparing the other ingredients.
While the noodles are boiling, in a large bowl, mix together 1 ¼ cups of the mozzarella, the ricotta cheese, ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese, the egg and parsley.
Place the thawed chopped spinach in a colander. Put two sheets of paper towels on top and lightly but firmly press down with the palm of your hand to squeeze out the excess water. Add the spinach to the cheese mixture and stir well. Set aside.
In a large, non stick frying pan, brown the ground beef and ground Italian sausage over medium heat. Add the salt, garlic and seasonings and break up the ground meats into small crumbles while cooking. Turn off the heat, drain off the fat and return the meat mixture to the pan.
Add the Ragu to the meat mixture and stir. Pour the water into the empty sauce jar, cover and shake well. Add to the pan with the meat mixture and stir.
Lightly spray a large, 13″ x 9″ oven-proof baking dish with non stick vegetable spray. Assemble the lasagna by arranging layers:
- Spread about 1 cup of the meat mixture over the bottom of the baking dish.
- Lay 3 of the lasagna noodles alongside each other on top of the meat mixture.
- Spread ⅓ of the cheese mixture over the lasagna noodles.
- Spoon 1 cup of the meat mixture over the cheese layer.
- Repeat steps 2-4 twice, ending with the last of the meat mixture.
- Sprinkle the reserved ¼ cup of Mozzarella and ¼ cup of Parmesan over the top. Cover with foil.
Bake 45 minutes. Remove the foil covering and return to the oven to bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand about 15 minutes before cutting into 12 large squares to serve.
This makes a lot of delicious lasagna! If there is any leftover, I put those serving size pieces into freezer quality plastic ware and freeze them for easy reheating in the microwave for a nice lunch several days later.