Cook Local – Easy Homemade Lasagna
Homemade Lasagna is always a hit at family gatherings and with Mother’s Day just around the corner….what Mom wouldn’t want you to make this amazing deep dish Lasagna to share with the family? Food gathers everyone from near & far!
For this meal, I’m going to send you back out to Fresno State’s Gibson Market – did you know they have a delicious Marina Sauce? I reached out to learn a bit more about this sauce and here’s what I found out –
And my two cents? ….. After standing in my kitchen and doing some taste testing (with a spoon right out of the jar, because it’s that good!), the color is deep and dark. The sauce is rich and filled with an array of flavorful vegetables and great spice – it really has a nice, subtle heat – just a bit! We LOVED it, great flavor! Though the ingredients are not grown locally, the sauce is made by the Food Science and Culinology students who are employed by the Food Processing Lab. This marinara sauce is perfect for lasagna!
Gibson market also has fresh cheese and an array of sausages and burger meat. And for that little bit of Pesto you need for this recipe? I bet you have just a bit leftover from making the Kale and Quinoa Greek Salad – Now’s the time to use those leftovers!
By taking a couple of shortcuts, you’ll have the most amazing Homemade Lasagna with very little effort – it’s perfect for a crowd and leftovers freeze great! Ciao!
- 2 1 lb. packages lasagna noodles, uncooked
- 2 32 oz. jars Marinara sauce
- 1 small jar pesto – you’ll need about 1/4 cup
- 1 1/2 lb. hamburger
- 1 16 oz. package sweet Italian sausage
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 32 oz. package ricotta cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup water
- 6 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Start by browning the hamburger & sausage. Add the onions and saute until the meat is well brown and the onions are soft. Drain off the excess fat and add the garlic. Saute for another minute or so – turn off the pan and allow the mixture to cool completely.
- Combine ricotta cheese and eggs and whisk together until light & fluffy. When the meat mixture is cool, add to the cheese mixture and mix well. (If you add the meat before it cools the ricotta cheese will melt and the eggs will scramble!)
- Pour the sauce into a bowl and add a 1/4 cup pesto and 1 cup water to the sauce. Mix to combine.
- Assemble the lasagna – (nope – I don’t cook the noodles!) Start by ladling sauce in the bottom of the lasagna pan. Top with noodles, cheese/meat mixture, sauce, mozzarella cheese, repeat, finishing with sauce on top, dot with mozzarella cheese. Dot with just a touch of pesto on top – just a couple teaspoons (not too much or it will get greasy on top). Cover tightly with tin foil. Sealing it completely.
- Place on a cookie sheet just in case the lasagna bubbles over. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake uncovered until browned and bubbly 20-30 minutes.
- If you are cooking this the day ahead, the next day you will just need to remove it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes to take the chill off. Return to the oven – 45-60 minutes until it is headed thru. Allow to sit for 20 minutes prior to serving.
Special thanks to Dennis Ferris, Ph.D – Manager of the Food Processing Laboratory and Julia Jepson – Food Processing Instructional Technician for their contributions to Fresno State, the community and this article.