When you are writing lasagna, do you say la-sag-na, in your head? Or is that just me? This might get a little controversial, but do you put egg in your ricotta??
In this lasagna, cheese is the star, just like they say on Master Chef. No meat this time. I normally put ground Italian sausage or ground beef, or a combination of the two, but tonight, cheese is the star, and it’s so good, no one is going to ask, where’s the meat? Perfect for Meatless Monday!!
So let’s delve into the ricotta question. I do not put egg in my ricotta. I drain my ricotta instead. There are two thought processes behind putting egg in the ricotta. One, that’s how you learned to make it from your family, so that’s just what you do. Totally understandable. No judgement here. My mom used to keep batteries in the refrigerator because she thought that made them last longer. I didn’t question it and adopted the same practice as an adult. Yeah, my husband rolled with it, even though he probably thought I was nuts, and then my mom told me she didn’t do that anymore one day in my early thirties. So now they live in the cupboard, not the refrigerator. Back to the ricotta, the other reason people put egg in ricotta is because they believe the lasagna will be a wet, runny mess without the egg holding the ricotta together. Drain the ricotta. Let the ricotta have a better, non-casserole like texture. How do I get the excess water out of my ricotta? Get a plate, first lay paper towels on it, then spread out the ricotta, and put more paper towels on top of that. I switch out the paper towels a few times and get so much water out in the process. I get this started before I even start boiling the water for the noodles. Look at all that water!
Making lasagna isn’t complicated. Boil your lasagna noodles and then run them under cold water. Spray a 9 x 13 pan, then add a little layer of your tomato sauce. Then add your first noodle layer.
Let’s get back to that drained ricotta. For your cheese mixture layer, add 1/2 cup of parmesan, 1 cup of mozzarella, and 2-4 cloves of garlic. Now spread half of that magic on the noodles. Then add enough of your spaghetti sauce to thinly cover it and sprinkle that with 1/2 cup of mozzarella. Told you, cheese is the star tonight friends, and it gets better. Quick chat about mozzarella, don’t get the cheap stuff. As you can tell by my other ingredients, I don’t feel this way about all things, but good mozzarella is a thing. Isn’t my helper the cutest?
Let’s talk about Kitchen Aide Mixer attachments for a sec. I have a few ( 😉 ), and the one I use the most is my cheese grater one. You can also cut up veggies with it, but I mostly use it for cheese. Shocking, right? KitchenAid RVSA Slicer & Shredder Attachment
Repeat that exact same process. Noodles, ricotta mixtures, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella. Then add your last noodle layer. Time for the provolone, right on top of the noodles. Depending on the size of the circle, it’s either 4 or 6 slices. Then top with another 2 cups of mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan. Who likes cheese? This girl.
Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Have you ever sprayed your foil before putting it on your dish? You should! Then the foil won’t steal any of the precious cheese.
Take off the foil, up that temp to 425 and bake it for another 15 minutes. Perfection, yes? And it sure doesn’t look like a wet, runny mess to me. 😉
1 box lasagna noodles
30 oz ricotta
3/4 cup parmesan
5 cups of shredded mozzarella
2-4 cloves of garlic
24 oz container of spaghetti sauce
4-6 slices of provolone