Lasagna is one of those things that takes some time to assemble, so why not get more out of your time? It’s a great meal to make in bulk and freeze ahead for later–and quadrupling the recipe (which I did tonight) doesn’t add that much time overall to the prep–especially if you follow some of my tips below:
- Cook elements separate, then combine. I had two pots going at once, and quickly cooked up 2 lbs of ground beef, 2 lbs of ground lamb, and 1 lb of Italian sausage in separate batches. There wasn’t any pressure to add things in a specific cooking times, and if I needed to take a break, it wouldn’t mess anything up.
- When dicing in bulk: the food processor is your friend. I quickly diced up two large onions, garlic, and tomatoes without the mess or fuss I normally go through.
- Use similar cooking pans. When you get to assembly, it will pay to have the same type of pan for each dish so you won’t have to switch up your routine. Plus the aluminum pans don’t take up too much space in the freezer, and involve NO clean up afterwards.
- Keep your recipe simple. Normally I love eggplant in my lasagna, but when you are cooking in bulk, it’s best to keep the recipe as simple as possible. This is also a plug for the amazing no-boil lasagna noodles: one less pot of boiling water to deal with and ingredient that needs watching.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will be in the kitchen for at least an hour–this is what house shoes were invented for 😀
My Mother’s Lasagna
Serving Size: 4 Lasagnas
- Cooking Oil
- 24 oz. ground beef
- 24 oz. ground lamb
- 1 package, hot Italian sausage
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 small zucchini, sliced thin
- 8 small tomato (San Marzanos or plum), diced
- 5 jars tomato sauce
- 1 cup red wine (optional)
- 60 oz. Ricotta cheese
- 4 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 4 box no-boil lasagna
- 32 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
- 16 oz. Parmesan cheese, shredded
- In a large dutch oven, sauté onions in 2 T. oil over medium heat until tender, 5-8 min. Add in garlic and cook 1 min, until fragrant. Remove from pan.
- Add in meat and sausage, cook until brown (5-10 min). Add zucchini, tomatoes, and onions/garlic and cook for 2-3 min. Add in tomato sauce and wine. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes as you prep the other ingredients. Season with salt/pepper.
- Mix the beaten egg with the basil, parsley, and ricotta.
- Assemble the lasagna: Lightly cover bottom of pan with a thin layer of sauce, then add: Noodles, Sauce, Ricotta, Noodles, Sauce, Mozzarella, Noodles, Sauce, Parmesan. If freezing–you’re done!
- When it’s time to cook: bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes, until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.