My mom makes this lasagna. I grew up with it. So, it’s been around since the beginning of time.
Actually, she got this recipe from my aunt, who is a terrible cook so it’s kind of a miracle. Because it’s really good.
1 box of those oven ready lasagna noodles because, hello?
1 pound of ground beef
1 pound of ground italian sausage, hot or sweet, whatever your preference of the day is
1 of those really extra big jars of marinara sauce. I think I use Ragu or Prego but whatever strikes your fancy. Remember, no rules?
1 16 oz container of ricotta cheese
A hefty sprinkling of parmesan cheese you buy in a container that Kraft makes
A couple of cups of mozzarella cheese
1 of those throw-away aluminum lasagna tin pans because, hello?
Put that ground beef and sausage in a pan and cook it. Drain out the fat. Put aside.
Mix your ricotta cheese in a bowl with one egg and a hefty sprinkling of parm cheese from the container. Sometimes I will even add some pepper and garlic salt to make it taste good but it tastes good anyway, so save yourself time and don’t do it, unless you want to. I sometimes do it to make it look like I’m professional or something.
Take your aluminum pan and pour a layer of sauce on the bottom. I don’t know why, just do it.
Put a layer of your oven-ready lasagna noodles over the sauce on the bottom. (HINT: don’t do this step until you are absolutely ready to continue building your lasagna, because the ends curl and it’s really hard to add all those other layers with curled edges. I know, umm, experience.)
Put a heaping spoon of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles and smooth it all out nice, covering everything.
Put a heaping spoon of the meat mixture over the ricotta cheese and smooth it all out nice, covering everything.
Pour some sauce over all that.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
Repeat #4 through 8. NOTE: I do not add another layer of noodles at the very top, but you may if you feel like it’s necessary. People are surprised that I don’t add a top layer of noodles. I don’t know why.
Throw that right into an already warmed up oven of 350 degrees for one hour.
Congratulations, you’re done.
Out of all the 7 things I make, this is a real crowd pleaser. Even my Italian sisters-in-laws like this. I know they aren’t lying either. Because they like to make fun of my 1/2 Irish ways and my lack of sauce making and ability to cook.
Here is #3 in the installment of recipes I would like to share with you that are my favorites. In case you missed the other two, here’s #1 and here’s #2.
I call this “Pasta with Homemade Irish Sauce.” I say “Irish Sauce” because I am irish and I do not make homemade homemade sauce so don’t get all excited and think that there is some cabbage or mashed potatoes in there.
I make it out of a jar. It’s very hard actually. Unless you have one of those jar gripper things that help you open the lid. Then it is easy.
Pasta with “Homemade” Irish Sauce
1-16oz box of pasta of your choice (I choose something hardy like ziti or rigatoni or cavatappi (so the meat sticks to it I think)
1 pound of ground beef (or turkey or chicken if you prefer to make it healthy)
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
Some chopped onion (I do not use an entire onion because I am cheap and can use the other half or 3/4 to make something else and also too much onion is too much onion. But do what you want. The great thing about my recipes is there are no rules!)
1 big jar of whatever the heck marinara sauce you like. This time I used this and it was delish, and on sale:
Black pepper and basil to taste (again, I don’t measure because ain’t nobody got time for that. And I use the dried basil in a plastic container that you get in the spice aisle of the grocery store because, hello? Have you met me?)
Put on a big pot of water to boil and then add the pasta (after it boils, because if you are like me and no one tells you otherwise, you won’t exactly know). Cook to al dente, blah blah.
In the meantime, brown your meat with the onion. Have you ever seen one of these things? It’s Pampered Chef. No, I am not getting paid to say this. I just love their crap. This number really breaks up the meat good. You can certainly live without it though. I did for about 20 years.
Drain out the fat because, eww.
Add in the sauce, garlic, black pepper and basil.
Let it simmer for a little bit so the flavors all mix in together. I let it simmer for at least until the pasta is done. Because I’m always in a rush and if I’m not, I’m just impatient.
I would have shown you a pic of the finished product, but my family is such a big pig that it’s all gone already and I only made it yesterday. A whole entire pound of pasta for three people? Geez.
Something happened to me when I posted that recipe I made up last week. I suddenly have this insatiable desire to share, share and share some more.
I get the feeling that more than less of you are like me. Maybe you don’t necessarily hate cooking per se. But perhaps you are just too busy with life. You know, kids, work, grocery shopping, girl’s night.
You know who you are. Like me. I know who I am. Sure, I’m busy with all that, but I just hate to cook. But to prevent myself from sounding like an actual broken record, I’ll stop there.
This meal is perfection. It’s faster than a speeding bullet. It’s a crock-pot number so that means put it together in the AM and when you return home in the PM from whatever it is you were doing, dinner will be ready.
It’s not healthy. That is my warning. But it is full of yummy goodness and once in a while you can splurge. So, consider this a treat.
BBQ Pulled Pork
1.5 pound Pork Loin (more or less depending on who you’re cooking for…go ahead and shove a whole big loin in there if your pot allows it)
1 liter of B&W Root Beer (it has to be B&W or it just doesn’t taste the same. I know because I tried to save 20 cents and it was different, it just was.)
A bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
Place the loin into the pot. Pour the root beer over the loin until it is fully covered. (I just pour the entire thing in there because otherwise I will just have about an inch of soda left over and no one will drink it so it will go to waste and I really hate wasting anything.)
Cook on low for 8 hours.
Take the pork out of the pot and place on a platter. Using two forks, pull that business apart.
Add your favorite barbecue sauce to your liking. I like it nice and wet and moist (that sounds weird, but you know what I mean if you get your head out of the gutter).
Serve on a bun.
Done. I always make some steak fries on the side. And a can of corn for veggies even though corn really doesn’t have any nutritional benefits and just comes out in your poop even though you think you chewed it up nice and good.