Today I was inspired to develop the world’s most ridiculously easy lasagna recipe. When I’ve had a hard day, I want a rich, hearty dinner that takes very little effort to prepare. Since I still can’t seem to snap my fingers and have comfort food appear before me, the next best thing it a recipe that I could make in my sleep.
Lasagna is one of those things that doesn’t need a lot of ingredients to taste good — in fact, simple lasagna dishes are often the most luscious, the most incredible. This recipe uses a mild Italian sausage for the bulk of its flavor so you don’t have to slave away over a three-hour bolognese sauce. Mushrooms add a little texture, but you’re more than welcome to leave them out and instead increase the amount of sausage by 1/2 pound. If they’re in season, fresh herbs really knock this dish out of the park, but if you don’t have them on hand, this is still a wonderfully rich, comforting recipe.
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 1/2-pound raw, mild Italian sausage (removed from casing and crumbled)
- One 25-ounce jar of tomato sauce
- 1 package no-boil lasagna noodles
- 5 cups ricotta cheese
- 3 cups shredded cheese (I made a four-cheese mix that included mozzarella, Monterey Jack and Parmesan
- 1 bunch of fresh basil or parsley leaves, torn by hand (optional, if it’s in season)
- 2 tablespoons water
- Freshly chopped parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and saute until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Add crumbled sausage and lower heat to medium. Continue cooking until sausage is cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Add tomato sauce to pan and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Spread a thin layer of tomato and meat sauce on the bottom of a 9×9 pan. Top with a layer of uncooked noodles (you may have to break a few to fill in the gaps) and scatter with torn basil or parsley leaves (optional). Add a few big dollops of ricotta on top of the noodles, spreading it around a bit, and follow with a few big dollops of sauce, which you’ll also spread around a bit. Sprinkle with a little shredded cheese and top with another layer of noodles. Continue layering until you've almost filled the pan, finishing with a layer of sauce. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons water.
- Cover pan with foil and slide it into the oven. Cook for 40 minutes. Turn heat up to 450°F (232°C), remove foil from pan, cover with more cheese and allow to cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and serve hot, sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley.
If you like this easy lasagna recipe, check out these other recipes: