15 December 2013

Holiday Lasagna

Holiday Lasagna #BuffetFavorites #pasta #lasagna #ChristmasEveMeals #casseroles
Holiday Lasagna

Lasagna is a classic holiday-time meal.  Also great to serve at a holiday buffet party.

Holiday Lasagna was a traditional Christmas Eve dinner when I was growing up.

Holiday Lasagna #BuffetFavorites #casseroles #ChristmasEveMeals #pasta #lasagna
Holiday Lasagna is loaded with cheese, meat and sausage

My mother always made turkey for Christmas Dinner and used to serve lasagna the night before because it was so radically different from turkey!

This classic casserole is also a buffet party favorite.  Slice it up in serving portions, and let guests help themselves.

I tend to buy the solid lump of mozzarella and cut it up in chunks or thick slices. This melts EVER so much better than pre-shredded.  Slicing it is also easier than shredding the lump, but if you don't mind, then by all means!!!  I try to save time and it's so wonderful to get a nice melted lump of mozzarella....well, you know what I mean :)

And this one is loaded with meat--ground beef and sliced sweet Italian sausage! You can always use ground Italian sausage meat if your store carries it.  Hot or sweet doesn't matter...use what you like!  This is a "man-pleasing" meal because of the good amount of meat and the combination of meat.  Oh, and don't forget the copious amount of cheese too!

Ground pork, chicken or turkey can easily substitute for the beef and you can certainly leave out the sausage or ALL the meat for that matter and go strictly vegetarian on this.  If you do, try adding some spinach or broccoli to keep it interesting.

Like the baker?  It's Revol Belle Cuisine in Slate.  My go-to pan!

Holiday Lasagna #ChristmasEveMeals #lasagna #pasta #casseroles #BuffetFavorites
You just can't get too close to a great lasagna!

Holiday Lasagna

  • 12 oven-ready lasagna noodles*
  • 1 tub (15 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbs parsley 
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • 16 oz sliced mozzarella cheese or 4 cups shredded
  • 8 oz Italian sausage
  • 8 oz lean ground beef
  • 1 jar (26 oz) pasta sauce
  • 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  You will need a deep 11 x 7-inch or 13 x 9-inch pan.

In a large skillet, brown ground beef, breaking up large clumps.  Drain and set aside.

Place Italian sausage in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Drain and cool slightly.  Slice in 1/8-1/4-inch slices.  Set aside.

Mix ricotta, parsley, oregano and parmesan cheese in a small bowl.

Mix pasta sauce, water and ground beef in a large bowl.

Place 1 1/2 cups of sauce mixture on the bottom of the pan. Lay 3 lasagna noodles across the bottom.

Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over noodles.  Spread 1/3 of the mozzarella slices or shredded mozzarella over the ricotta mixture.  Distribute 1/3 of the sausage slices over the top of the cheeses.  Drizzle with 1/3 of the sauce mixture.  Repeat 2 more times.  Top with the last 3 lasagna noodles, spreading remaining sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle with additional shredded mozzarella if desired.

Cover with greased aluminum foil and place the baking dish on a baking tray and bake at 375 degrees for 55-60 minutes. 

Remove foil and test noodle doneness with a knife. If noodles are soft, replace the foil cover and let stand for 10 minutes.  If noodles are still "al dente" then return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Makes 9 servings.

*The same method should work with regular lasagna noodles.  I used oven-ready in this but I've made this without cooking the noodles even with the "regular" lasagna. Of course you can cook the regular noodles first, but eliminate the 1 cup of water that is mixed with the sauce and it will only require about 30 minutes in a 350 (yes, different temp) oven.

Holiday Lasagna #casseroles #ChristmasEveMeals #BuffetFavorites #lasagna #pasta
A great lasagna should never be "neat."  ENJOY!

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