I have the sweetest little muffin you've ever seen taking up vast amounts of my time.
So, let's call this month "Mommy Month".
We'll have casseroles all month, that you can prepare in advance and freeze.
For a rainy day, visiting in-laws, or, oh, say, a new baby boy that takes up quite a bit of time that would normally be spent in your beloved kitchen.
And yes, I know that casseroles aren't even remotely close to what I'd consider gourmet. But let's face it: everyone needs a few freezable recipes in their back pocket.
You'll forgive me, yes?
And we'll start with a basic....a basic lasanga.
This is not authentic lasanga....that is coming later this month.
But, this is super simple and satisfying and you can whip it up in less than thirty, then throw it in the oven while you put together a simple salad and some garlic bread.
Makes one 9x13" casserole.1 pound ground beef
32 ounces marinara sauce, homemade or your favorite store-bought
15 ounces ricotta cheese
4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
9 no-boil lasanga noodles
Preheat oven to 350*.
Brown the ground beef over medium heat in a large saute pan. Drain off excess fat and add marinara sauce. Bring to a simmer with one cup of water and then turn off heat. Set aside.
Combine ricotta, 3 cups mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan, eggs and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Spray a 9x13" lasanga pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Spread one cup of the meat and sauce mixture on the bottom of the pan.
Lay 3 noodles on top.
Spread 3/4 cup of the meat sauce on the noodles.
Dollop 1/2 of the cheese mixture on top.
Press 3 more noodles into the cheese.
Spread another cup of the meat sauce over the noodles.
Dollop the last of the cheese mixture on and press 3 more noodles into the cheese.
Cover with the last of the sauce, spreading the sauce to the edges of the dish.
Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until nice and golden brown on top.
Let sit for 10 minutes and then serve. Enjoy!