This recipe is a little outside the norm for this series. Don't get me wrong, it's cheap and easy, but it just takes a bit longer than usual. Preparation is a snap, but it needs to bake for 35 minutes and then sit for 10 minutes before you dig in. That doesn't usually bother me because I can read or do any number of things on my to-do list in that time, but if you are hungry and want food ASAP, then you might want to plan ahead for this dish. This recipe is also a family favorite and I'm slightly appalled it's not on my website. The best thing about this dish is the ratio of noodles to cheese and sauce. I've fiddled a great deal with the ordering of the layers to get it just right for my tastes, but of course people are different, so I encourage you to also experiment. I personally like a hefty portion of noodles (who is surprised?) and sauce, and I don't like too much mozzarella on top because it makes it impossible to cut through. I also like a hearty meat sauce in my lasagna. I don't want just tomatoes, there needs to be some beef (or at least meat flavor if you use turkey). My final must with lasagna is a bit odd. I don't like when you get a massive piece of steaming lasagna and you cut into it and it doesn't move. It stays perfect upright and the layers are in tact like a piece of cake. To me that implies that it's not fresh. I could be wrong, but that's how I feel. So now that you've been warned, here is my absolute favorite lasagna.
5 cups spaghetti sauce (I suggest mine, but a store bought kind will work in a pinch and you can add browned meat. Don't worry the spaghetti makes so much you are going to want to do something with some of the leftovers)
1 package extra wide lasagna noodles
1 15 ounce container skim or low fat Ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon dried thyme
salt and pepper
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups Parmesan cheese
Since it was a bit confusing above, here is the order of the layers from bottom to top:
3) 1/2 of ricotta mix
4) sprinkled cheeses
7) last 1/2 of ricotta mix
8) sprinkled cheeses
11) sprinkled cheeses, extra Parm.
Hope that is more clear!