Dave McClure's Once-a-Year Cooking Feat: Anniversary Lasagna
Early in my marriage, I asked my mom to send me the recipe for her quick version lasagna so I could score on my anniversary. I never cook, but I manage to make this once a year.
- 1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 9-oz. package oven-ready lasagna noodles
- 8 cups tomato sauce of choice, plain or with meat
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tbs fresh, finely chopped basil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 pounds ricotta cheese
- Cheese Filling
1To make the cheese filling, combine the ricotta, eggs, cheese, garlic, basil, nutmeg, and pepper in a large bowl and stir to blend. Let stand, refrigerated, for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
2To build the lasagna, spray the bottom of a rectangular 9- x 13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray and spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom. If using meat sauce, try to avoid the meat pieces for this first layer so the noodles will lay flat. Place a layer of noodles in the sauce, leaving about 1/4 inch of space between the edges and from the sides of the dish. Spoon about a third of the ricotta mixture over the noodles and spread carefully to cover completely. Then, add another layer of sauce and sprinkle with about a quarter of the mozzarella and grated cheeses. Repeat the layering 2 more times and finish with a top layer of noodles, sauce, and mozzarella. Pour 1/4 c. of water slowly along the borders of the dish; let stand for 1/2 hour before baking. This gives the dried noodles a chance to expand and fill out the dish completely.
3If you’re going to cook the lasagna immediately, preheat the oven to 350°F while you’re waiting for it to expand. Bake for about 1 hour and then let stand outside the oven for at least 10–15 minutes before trying to cut into pieces. Or, you can freeze it immediately after it’s expanded or refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. You can also bake it and freeze any leftovers.