Classic Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese: A Family Favorite
Lasagna is a delicious and hearty Italian dish that has become a staple in many family meals around the world. This classic lasagna with ricotta cheese recipe combines the savory flavors of seasoned ground beef and tomato sauce, with the richness of ricotta and mozzarella cheese, all layered between tender lasagna noodles. It is perfect for any occasion, from a weeknight dinner to a special event.
To make this classic lasagna with ricotta cheese, you will need the following ingredients:
- 12 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package instructions
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15 oz) container of ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef, onion, and garlic until browned and cooked through. Drain the fat and return the meat mixture to the skillet. Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, and the egg. Mix until well combined.
4. To begin assembling the lasagna, spread a thin layer of the meat sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Place 4 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture evenly over the noodles. Repeat the layers of meat sauce, noodles, and ricotta mixture two more times. Top with the remaining lasagna noodles and spread the remaining meat sauce over the top. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over the lasagna.
5. Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Allow the lasagna to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
History and Curiosities
The origins of lasagna can be traced back to ancient Greece, where a dish called “Laganon” was made by layering pasta and sauce. However, the more familiar form of lasagna, with its layers of tomato sauce, cheese, and other ingredients, is credited to Italy, specifically the region of Emilia-Romagna.
It is believed that lasagna was brought to America by Italian immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Over time, it has evolved into the modern dish we know today, with variations including the addition of vegetables, different types of meat, and the use of different cheeses.
One interesting curiosity about lasagna is that it has become a popular dish in the British comic strip “Garfield,” thanks to the character’s insatiable love for the cheesy dish. This has led to lasagna being associated with the world-famous comic and even inspired “Garfield” creator Jim Davis to write a cookbook featuring lasagna recipes.
In conclusion, lasagna is a dish rooted in history and has become a beloved family favorite across the world. This classic lasagna with ricotta cheese recipe is sure to be a hit with your family and friends, and may even become a regular part of your meal repertoire.