I’ll never forget when a former boss called me into his office and tried to convince me to work over the weekend. I told him I had family coming into town, and that his last-minute request really put a cramp in my ability to entertain, let alone feed, them. He told me, “Here’s what you do: You go get a Stouffer’s lasagne. Have your husband warm it up while you’re on your way home. They’ll never know you didn’t make it.”
While I thought it was pretty cheeky of him to give me hostessing advice that pretty much only benefitted him, I do have to say that he’s right – Stouffer’s makes a mean frozen lasagne. Tastes pretty much like homemade!
But you know what? Homemade lasagne is not all that hard, or time consuming, to make, either. Just get yourself some jarred pasta sauce, some ricotta cheese, lasagne noodles, shredded mozarella, and some Italian sausage or ground beef if you’re in the mood for meat.
Boil the noodles while you pre-heat your oven to about 400 degrees and brown your meat. You don’t have to boil them all the way – they can still be pretty al dente, since they’ll cook even more in the oven.
In a shallow casserole dish, lay down a bit of sauce as a base, then lay down a layer of noodles. Spread on some ricotta, and top with a generous amount of sauce (and meat, if you’re so inclined). Finish with a layer of mozarella. Lay down more noodles, repeat with the cheese and sauce, then finish with a layer of noodles topped with more mozarella.
Bake it until it’s all bubbly and hot. Meanwhile, cook up some bagged frozen veggies, and you’re set! Got family coming over and a work-packed weekend? Make the lasagne a day in advance, then heat it up just before dinner.