I will admit. I am one of those homemade bread, sauce, pasta,cookies,pie crust,cakes people. But, let’s get real.
There are times when there is no time.
Soccer practice, swim lessons, broken down vehicles, roof leaks, accidents..
all these things get in the way of whipping up a 100% from scratch meal.
That’s why they invented freezers. And canned stuff. Well, it’s more for food preservation but , you know what I mean.
And, days like that I make this:
It’s more like busy mama lasagna.
Oh well, too late to change things now.
First of all- there is no recipe. I’m sorry, but- honestly you guys are smart and if I just explain and show you how I do it, then, I am sure you can invent your own version and call it whatever you want. Busy lady, crazy daddy lasagna, or just plain ol’ lasagna.
Second of all I never boil my noodles. I am sure there are some Italians out there very upset with me. Sorry. I just don’t see the point, they get cooked in the sauce and then they absorb more flavor… and more importantly, it’s one less dish to wash. I’m sure you are catching my drift now.
For this batch I cooked up some beef, peppers and onions. Really you can make a just as yummy one with eggplant, zucchini and peppers and onions and call it veggie mama lasagna.
But, I have a cave man meat eater in my house. I guess he can’t be called a cave man- since we live in a house. Hmmm.
1- 28 oz can/jar of sauce and another 15 oz can of diced tomatoes and 3 tbs tomato paste and 1 c of water. And a few dashes of Italian seasoning, salt, pepper. Mix all that in a bowl. It should be runny. Don’t worry- your uncooked noodles will fix that.
another hand shot. That’s sweet. Just kidding. It was because I forgot to take a picture after I started. Place some of the sauce in the casserole, then a layer of noodles, then the meat or veggie mixture and:
For the cheese layer- 1 c ricotta, 1 egg, 3 tbs Parmesan, Italian seasoning (2-3 tsp) and pepper. (the Parmesan is already salty)
Now this is the final and most important step:
pour any remaining sauce all over it. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Now, uncover and add your mozzarella. Bake another 5 minutes uncovered, and allow to sit out 15 minutes before cutting.
You can make this ahead and store it in the fridge before baking, then you only have to bake it about 35 minutes.
So, let’s say you know you have a crazy Monday next week- make this up Sunday and you’re set. Yippee.