1 pound lean ground beef
4 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce
6 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup hot water
Cook beef in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Stir in pasta sauce.
Spread one-third of meat sauce in a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish; layer with 3 noodles and half each of ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese. (The ricotta cheese layers will be thin.) Repeat procedure; spread remaining one-third of meat sauce over mozzarella cheese. Slowly pour 1/4 cup hot water around inside edge of dish. Tightly cover baking dish with 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Bake at 375° for 45 minutes; uncover and bake 10 more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Classico Tomato & Basil pasta sauce.
NOTES FROM A READER: I made my own
ricotta cheese (1 gallon of whole milk, bring to 120F, add 1/2 c. white vinegar, wait 20 minutes while it sits undisturbed off of the heat, strain mixture through a cheesecloth, squeeze out excess moisture)
and added Italian seasoning to it along with 2 medium eggs and a generous amount of parmesan cheese. I also used a 24 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce and blended it until smooth with a large can (16 oz?) of organic tomatoes with basil (drain and drink the juice, yummy). Also, when I cooked the ground beef, I pureed 1 carrot, 1 small onion, and 3 cloves of garlic and cooked the beef in that. My kids are picky about chunks so I have to be creative. This was a real hit and very easy.