Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Major Life Milestones and Lasagna

It's a big week for me around here.

I'm approximately 24 hours away from a major lifestyle change and I'm like a ticking time bomb, which, depending on the moment, could explode into tears or confetti.  Tomorrow, I'll take my baby to Kindergarten.  This is huge when I consider I have had at least one little person by my side pretty much everyday for the past 15 and a half years.  I can count on one hand the number of times I've been alone in my house.  So, as I swing wildly to and fro on the emotional pendulum between the not wanting to let go and the exciting prospects I see ahead, I thought this might be a good day to just talk about lasagna.

After all, what better comfort food is there than lasagna?  I've been making this same recipe for several years.  It's my husband's favorite, and I think you'll love it too.

The best part about this recipe is that you can use traditional lasagna noodles, but you don't have to boil them first, so it saves you time and effort, which are two things I always love to save.

Here's what you'll need:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 26 oz can of spaghetti sauce
1-1/3 cup water, divided
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1 T. dried parsley (or 3 T. fresh)
1 8-oz pkg of lasagna noodles, uncooked

Start by browning and draining the ground beef.  Then, add to that the sauce, plus 1 cup of water.  Bring that to a boil.  In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta and egg.  Add 1 cup of the mozzarella, 1/3 cup of water, and the parsley.  

Remember, if you're using dried parsley, add only 1 Tablespoon.  I picked some fresh from my mini herb garden, so I used 3 Tablespoons.  

The trick to this recipe is to rinse the noodles under hot water as they are layered into the pan.  So, start by rinsing 3 to 4 strips and placing in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  

Next, spread half of the cheese mixture over the lasagna...

Then, spread 1/3 of the sauce over the cheese...

Repeat the lasagna, cheese, and sauce layers once more, then end with one more layer of lasagna and the remaining sauce.  Top with the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella.

Then, cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting, and it will slice up beautifully for you.  

Hope you like it! I may need to make a pan of this to eat while I'm re-reading my back-to-school pep talk from last year.  Click here if you need one, too!


  1. I totally feel your year my oldest goes to middle school and my {only} daughter goes off to Kinder! I'm a already a mess and it doesn't happen for another year!!! Lasagna is MY comfort food too!! Ha! Maybe that is what I'll make next August just in time for school. Hope you make it through the day unscathed tomorrow!!

  2. This looks so yummy - going to pin it and add it to my meal list!

    I hear you on the kindergarten thing. It's so tough watching our babies grow up! I have an 8th grader, 6th grader and a 1st grader, and I'm already having anxiety attacks about my oldest going to HIGH SCHOOL next year!!

  3. Nothing cheers one up like a good pan of lasagna! I have one starting her senior year of college and the other her first year of Jr high. Enjoy my goes by fast.

  4. It's a bittersweet time for you! Doesn't time fly? I hope your day is a huge blessing for the both of you.

  5. I have been looking for a recipe where I don't have to cook the lasagna first. I am going to try this! Thanks.

    I know how you are feeling..but it will seem more natural as time goes on and one day you will wake up and actually SMILE when they all get off to school...xo Diana

  6. Hi Julie
    My family loves lasagna! but our recipe is a bit 'different...
    un saluto dall'Italia

  7. Awww I feel for you. The first day of kindergarten my oldest son stopped at his classroom door, turned and said "Mom, you don't have to come here tomorrow" Oh did I mention that I tried to walk him to the door of his bus - he said "No Mom, stay with the car", then not to be deterred I followed the bus to school, ran onto the school grounds and found him and said "Oh Jordan...I forgot to take a picture" I cried so hard when I got back to the car.

  8. Hang in there Mama! Totally feel for you, and the lasagna was and excellent choice, chicken soup would have been the only other option :) Hugs to you


  9. Hello,

    I understand how you feel. In a couple of weeks our little baby will be in Kindergarten! Luckily, we still have two weeks with her, as our school year doesn't start until September 3rd.

    Try to enjoy the time you have for yourself, because even though your baby maybe starting school, all of our babies need Momma even when they are 23 and have left the nest.

    Take care,
    Regina, Sk


I love hearing from each of you and will do my best to respond! Thanks so much for stopping by. So glad you're here!