Classic beef and cheese lasagna. A family classic and a comforting must make meal!
Course: Main Course
1 - 1 1/2lbsground beef
1/2tspground black pepper
1/4 - 1/2tspred pepper flakesoptional
8ozjar tomato sauce
Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill a large stockpot with water, cover and begin heating. In a large skillet, cook ground beef. When it appears half done, drain any fat. Sprinkle meat with pepper, salt, oregano, basil and the optional red pepper flakes. Toss and stir until fully cooked. Transfer beef to a medium bowl. Pour roughly a third of the tomato sauce into the bowl, stir to coat well. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions. When your noodles are done, pour into a strainer or carefully pour hot water out and refill slowly with warm water. Repeat this step a few times to cool down the pasta and pan. Keep pasta just barely covered with water so the noodles don't stick together.
Lightly coat a large casserole dish with olive oil.
Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with pasta sauce of your choice.
Cover the sauce with noodles, enough to make one layer. Trim pieces as needed.
Lightly spoon some sauce over noodles and spread evenly. Add roughly a quarter of your meat over the noodles and sauce.
Making large dollops, drop a total of half of the ricotta cheese over your current layer. Then press down gently with the spoon to spread it out a bit.
Cover with more noodles. Spoon sauce over noodles and top off with another 1/4 of the meat. Sprinkle with a third of the cheese. Repeat layers two more times, using up all of the meat and ricotta while reserving a spoonful or two of sauce and a third of the shredded mozzarella. After you have made four layers, top off with an additional layer of noodles. Spoon remaining sauce and spread it out gently. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and turning lightly golden in spots.
Let sit for at least 5 minutes before slicing into and serving. Store covered in the fridge for up to one week or freeze wrapped well and labeled.