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Dave McClure's Once-a-Year Cooking Feat: Anniversary Lasagna Recipe

Early in my marriage, I asked my mom to send me the recipe for her quick version lasagna so I could score on my anniversary. I never cook, but I manage to make this once a year.

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Prep
Cook
Serves12people
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Ingredients
Cheese Filling
2
pounds ricotta cheese
2
large eggs, beaten
1/3
cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2
garlic cloves, minced
2
tbs fresh, finely chopped basil
1
freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
8
cups tomato sauce of choice, plain or with meat
1
9-oz. package oven-ready lasagna noodles
1
pound shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2
cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Directions
1.
To make the cheese filling, combine the ricotta, eggs, cheese, garlic, basil, nutmeg, and pepper in a large bowl and stir to blend. Let stand, refrigerated, for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
2.
To build the lasagna, spray the bottom of a rectangular 9- x 13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray and spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom. If using meat sauce, try to avoid the meat pieces for this first layer so the noodles will lay flat. Place a layer of noodles in the sauce, leaving about 1/4 inch of space between the edges and from the sides of the dish. Spoon about a third of the ricotta mixture over the noodles and spread carefully to cover completely. Then, add another layer of sauce and sprinkle with about a quarter of the mozzarella and grated cheeses. Repeat the layering 2 more times and finish with a top layer of noodles, sauce, and mozzarella. Pour 1/4 c. of water slowly along the borders of the dish; let stand for 1/2 hour before baking. This gives the dried noodles a chance to expand and fill out the dish completely.
3.
If you’re going to cook the lasagna immediately, preheat the oven to 350°F while you’re waiting for it to expand. Bake for about 1 hour and then let stand outside the oven for at least 10–15 minutes before trying to cut into pieces. Or, you can freeze it immediately after it’s expanded or refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. You can also bake it and freeze any leftovers.