There are many ways to make Lasagna out there. But I think my favorite will always be traditional.
This is another one of those meals that gets a round of “YES!!”s when I announce it for dinner.
To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
If you are using traditional cook-ahead noodles, begin cooking them first. When they are al dente, drain them and gently toss them with some olive oil to keep them from sticking together.
In a skillet, brown a pound of ground beef. When it is cooked through, drain off any excess drippings and set it aside.
Measure out 1 1/2 tsp Oregano, 1 tsp Thyme and 2 tsp Basil…have I mentioned how pretty purple basil is? Set these aside for now.
In a saucepan, melt a quarter cup of butter over medium heat.
Toss in a finely diced onion and 4 cloves of minced garlic. Cook these until tender and translucent.
Whisk in a quarter cup of flour.
Whisk in 2 cups of whole milk.
Cook this over medium low heat, stirring continually. When this comes to a gentle boil and is thickened, turn off the heat.
To the white sauce, add a 15 ounce can of Tomato Sauce
The herbs, along with a half teaspoon each of salt & ground black pepper
And a tablespoon of Tomato Paste. Whisk these together until combined.
Brush the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with a little olive oil.
Ladle in a third of the sauce, and spread it around the bottom.
Place a layer of noodles on the sauce. These noodles are the kind that do not have to be cooked ahead of time. They are convenient, and easy to handle. You just break a couple to fit the pan. Honestly, I think I prefer the traditional cook-ahead kind though. They just seem to have a better texture. Could be my imagination….but you can choose for yourself.
On top of the first layer of noodles, spread a cup and a half of Ricotta cheese.
Add your second layer of noodles.
Next, add your ground beef, topped with a cup and a half of shredded Mozzarella Cheese.
On top of the cheese, ladle half of your remaining sauce.
Finally, add your third layer of noodles, the remaining sauce, and another 1 1/2 cup of Mozzarella.
Bake this uncovered for 35-40 minutes, until the top begins to get beautiful and golden, and browned around the edges.
Isn’t this gorgeous?
Let this rest on the counter for a couple minutes before serving.