Easy Bread Pan Lasagna is my solution to my love-hate relationship with this dish.
To Love: The way lasagna smells when baking in the oven. The crispy outside pieces. The frilly edges of the noodles. The special-occasion-ness of it.
To Hate: Pre-boiling and then working with those darn noodles. I always boil too many or, worse, not enough. Just as bad are those anemic, expensive, no-boil noodles without the frilly edges. And having to bake an entire 9"x13" pan is overkill for our small family.
Then I tried this method of adding water to the sauce and heating it first. Voila! Wait, what's the Italian equivalent for that? Oh well. No more messy pre-boiling the noodles. And instead of one giant 9"x13" pan of lasagna (which you can still do if that works better for your family) I split the ingredients between three bread pans--more crispy, yummy edges, more flexibility. I can bake one pan for my family and have two in the freezer for later in the month. Or, if we have guests, I can bake all three. So if you're feeling inspired to make marinara from my last post, here's an idea for how to use your sauce this week.
Easy Bread Pan Lasagnas
2 lbs ricotta
1/4 cup parmesan
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsps basil
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 lb of lasagna noodles, uncooked
Preheat the oven to 350'.
1.) Mix ricotta through egg in a bowl
2.) Pour sauce in a pan; add one cup water; heat on low.
3.) Grease three lasagna pans, bottom and sides.
4.) Pour 1/2 cup hot sauce in bottom of each pan.
6.) Dollop four spoonfuls of ricotta mix over top of dry noodles. Spread evenly.
7.) Repeat Steps 4, 5 and 6 twice more, ending with dry noodles.
8.) On top of the third layer of noodles, split the remaining ricotta cheese mix across the three pans and spread evenly.
10.) Split the 2 cup bag of shredded mozzarella between the three pans. Sprinkle with parmesan, basil, salt and pepper.
11.) Bake (over a cookie sheet to catch any troublesome spillage) for 35-40 mins or until the top is bubbly and a knife pierces through without resistance from the noodles.*
*If you're freezing these or will reheat them as a whole pan at a later date, undercook the noodles just slightly. Take maybe 5-10 minutes off the bake time. This means that when you pierce the lasagna with the knife you'll feel the knife pass through the noodles. Before freezing, let the lasagnas cool completely, then wrap with Saran Wrap then foil. For added protection, slip each pan into a gallon-sized freezer bag. They should keep around a month. When you reheat them, thaw in the fridge overnight. Cover with greased foil (so you don't lose your cheese topping) when you bake them in the oven at 350' for about 30 mins.