Gooey Three Cheese Lasagna

couscous 155

I am a love bug.

Daniel cringes at the amount of affection I’d like to pour over him.

[Yet again] I blame my mother.

couscous 153

She loved me too much.

couscous 174

Two days ago I was out for drinks and appetizers with my dearest friends and their 9 month old baby girl, and a very unfortunate series of events ensued:

  1. I saw the line between giggling and cooing with a cute baby and pressing your lips to her chubby cheeks, nose, ears, legs, toes, and every-other-soft-and-pudgy-limb.
  2. I crossed said line.
  3. I did not look back.

couscous 160

 

So you’ll have to understand that when Daniel’s sister, Rachel, comes to visit us in Seattle for the week, as she is now, I retain the rights to sweet talk her and tell her she’s wonderful and beautiful and that I love her. At least 72 times a day. And Daniel, shy guy that he is, must refrain from leaving me.

Rachel should expect that in the forthcoming five days, I will:

  1. Ask her if she’s hungry no less than 4 times (per hour).
  2. Ask her if she’s parched and if she needs a beverage no more than 8 times (per day).
  3. Tell Daniel to be nicer to his sister no less than 3 times (before he leaves me).
  4. Force feed her lasagna.

couscous 163

Note of possible relevance: Rachel is two years Daniel and my senior.

I set no age limit on swaddling.

Say a Hail Mary for my someday children, will you?

……………….

This is the gooey-est, creamiest, and most classic version of lasagna I can muster. It’s all in the sauce. Repeat: lasagna is divine in, and only in, it’s perfectly spiced sauce. Because the recipe is fairly standard. There’s little nuance in a pasta, cheese, and marinara casserole of this caliber. What sets the excellent apart from the good is a sweet, thick, and olive oiled sauce with heady notes of garlic and caramelized onion.

Listen, I get it. You think Bertolli, Prego, maybe even Classico, make a fairly fantastic jar. You’re thinking it’s not worth the trouble to make a pot from crushed tomatoes, dried herbs, sweet onion, and a head of garlic. Why go to the trouble?

Hear me: it’s worth it. Once you make this sauce, the one created by the man I love most in the world, my stepdad, PJ, you won’t be able to love any jarred red quite as much. It will change your life. It’s sweeter than most, and as odd as this may sound, it is part of who I am. I’ve eaten it all my life and if I were to say my favorite meal of all time, I’d say *peanut butter and fluff, and then…a meal that includes this rich red tomato sauce.

*Don’t question me.

couscous 107

couscous 108

couscous 109

couscous 110

couscous 111

couscous 146

 

……………

Gooey Three Cheese Lasagna

serves 6

4 cups of this homemade marinara sauce

12 sheets no-boil lasagna noodles

16 oz part skim ricotta cheese

1 tablespoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried basil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup parmesan cheese

4 cups mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 13×9” oven-safe baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.

Spread 1 cup marinara sauce evenly across the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay 3 sheets lasagna noodles, side by side, slightly overlapping. Do not worry if the noodles do not extend to the edges; they will expand as they cook. Top the noodles with 1/3 of the ricotta-parmesan mixture, followed by 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Spread 1 cup marinara sauce over the mozzarella. Lay another 3 sheets of lasagna noodles, followed by another third of the ricotta, then another 1/3 of the mozzarella. Spread another cup of marinara sauce, then the noodles, the remaining, ricotta, and another cup of mozzarella. Finish by laying the final 3 sheets of noodles, followed by the last cup of sauce and the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and beginning to brown. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Comments

  1. says

    I just got caught up on your last few posts. And I’m more glad than ever to have found your blog. It was the very first time I opened the ‘freshly pressed’ page and you were there.
    Rachel and Daniel are very very lucky!

  2. Helena says

    I would not mind AT ALL if you would pamper me 😀 But I can totally understand you, I always do the same with the people I love.

    I’m not the biggest fan of cheese, but this lasagna is vegetarian, which is awesome 😀 Really need to find people who are willing to eat what I cook 😀

  3. Johnny says

    Lasagna has to be my favorite comfort food of all time. But it’s not COMFORT food unless you add the ooey gooey love that completes it!

    You are without a doubt something else! ANY parent, boyfriend, (should I say..husband!), child, nephew, niece, etc., etc. would be VERY lucky to have you gushing over them! :)

  4. says

    Our Family Tomato sauce recipe is exactly the same except that we also add 2 bay leafs 😀
    So i totally believe that this is a heavenly dish :)

  5. says

    So can I sign up for a visit, sounds just about like what I need right now! 😉 This lasagna sounds delicious, a fresh homemade sauce beats a jar anyday and is totally worth the extra effort, agreed! Have a wonderful Tuesday :)

  6. says

    This lasagna sounds so simple and delicious and, well…a lot like mine! :) Although I like to thin out the ricotta with a bit of cottage cheese for spreading. Love those no boil noodles! They save so much time! xoxo

  7. says

    Andrea, that lasagne looks divine! I don’t know how you do it, but you make me crave lasagne at 8: 30am–before I’ve even finished my cup of coffee.

    I’m actually meeting my best friend from high school and her new daughter this weekend and I can’t wait to see the baby (and smother her with attention, of course). I will think of you as I kiss her cankles 😉

  8. says

    Oh myyyy I love lasagna. My hubby’s mom made 2 batches for our rehersal dinner and I had to refrain from eating 1 of the batches in order to still fit in my dress the next day. But it was soooo tempting. This looks great!

  9. says

    Homemade marinara is where it’s at! It never ceases to amaze me how much better it tastes than jarred.

    Have a great time with your little family this week! 😀

  10. says

    This lasagna has me drooling. It reminds me (a lot) of my mom’s homemade lasagna, which is full to the brim with the most delightful sauce and cheesy goodness. I’m saving this recipe to my favorites! 😀

  11. says

    Try adding thin slices of zuccini, summer squash, and mushrooms. I love love veggies in my lasanga, it helps to make it feel a little less dense and heavy in my opinion. It’s also a dish I keep exclusively meatless.

    And you’re right, that sauce is divine. I plan on attempting a version with fresh tomatoes once my parents’ garden starts bearing fruits :)

  12. says

    Buying a giant ceramic lasagna pan was the best $20 I’ve ever spent. My lasagna always spilled over the top of ever 9×13 pan I tried, but the pan I have now (bought from Target) is perfect!

  13. says

    Oh my goodness! So yummy! I’m an awful host. I last like 12 hours before I’m ready for the person to leave. It’s been getting easier over the years, I just don’t like having to entertain someone even though I can talk about myself for hours haha. It’s just awkward. I only like hosting my closest friends/family!

  14. says

    Andrea this looks unbelievable! Thank you for sharing it with us. There is nothing quite like homemade Italian food…it is the epitome of comfort and love :) I’ll bet Daniel’s sister just fell in love with you too!

  15. says

    LOVE homemade sauce…Mickey is the tomato sauce master in our household (love him):) When his dad came to visit us last fall, we basically planned the whole weekend by which restaurant we were going to take him to next. Everytime we ventured to a new neighborhood, we would point out which place had the best this or that. Finally he said…”Um, is all you two do is eat?” Busted!

  16. Nicole says

    Ooooh, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and will be moving to Seattle next month! I’d give just about anything to hear what your fave eateries are, in, say, a blog post format. Pretty please?

  17. says

    I love making homemade sauce, I just can’t even buy jarred because I wasn’t brought up that way! But if you like it better and don’t have the time, more power to ya. P.S. Can I stay with you? I could totally pack an extra one or two stomachs!

  18. says

    I feel like when I’m reading your blog…. a friend is talking to me. You’re so wonderful.

    I think smothering people with love is where it’s at. :)

    I wish you lived in Alberta, Canada so we could be friends… you’re awesome!

  19. says

    Ooooooh yay, lasagna. That looks so good. I might have to give your recipe a try sometime, just minus the ricotta cheese. My husband dislikes it. I’ve tried sneaking it in, and he always knows.

  20. Sarah says

    Hi!!

    Wow- this recipe looks amazing!!! I’m also a huge fan of make-your-own sauces. With just a little extra time, they’re so worth it!

    I have one question- you’ve mentioned in previous posts that your recipes are designed to be 400-500 calories per serving. This one looked so lush, I had to double-check. I popped it into CalorieCount and it came up with 1,152 calories per serving. Yikes!! Was your serving number a typo, or are you just forgoing your usual calorie rule?

    Thank you!!!

  21. Karen says

    Good lord, I just made your marinara sauce and lasagna and it was amazing!! Will definitely use your marinara sauce for EVERYTHING!!!

  22. Michelle says

    The sauce recipe was a hit in my house! I used half the onion called for and made up the difference with roasted garlic. The lasagna turned out great! Thank you for helping me learn some skills in the kitchen. :-)

  23. Michelle Mercier says

    I am so excited to have found your website. I am going to try this recipe for dinner this week for my boyfriends birthday. My parents and brother and fiance are coming over. quick question how many people will this feed?

    thanks. p.s. good for you for losing all that weight, that takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
    also what are no boil lasagna noodles? never heard of this, I hope I can find them. or does that mean need to make from scratch?

  24. Liz says

    First off, I love this recipe! It is absolutely delicious and my go-to for lasagna.
    I am wondering if I could assemble the lasagna a day ahead and then keep it in the fridge until baking it the next day? Would that negatively affect the consistency of this great dish? Thank you!

  25. Tiffany Arceo says

    Where can I find those no boil lasagna noodles in the grocery store? Are the in the same aisle as the gluten free products??

    • says

      Hi Tiffany!

      They should be in the regular pasta aisle. The brand I buy is Barilla (though a lot of companies make them now) and they’re always in the section with all of the other kinds of spaghetti, penne, etc.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *