My husband loves my lasagna. He loves that I make a double batch of sauce for it and it comes out nice and moist...not like a dry brick, lol.
Anyway...I do have a story about when I messed up his lasagna. One week we planned to go to NY to stay with my in-laws and visit family. I decided to surprise my mother-in-law and cook some meals for her. I wanted to give her a break after cooking for over 60 years. So before we left our house I tried to do as much food prep with food as I could. I took out an old recipe for my lasagna, mind you I haven't used a recipe for years, and started premixing all the spices into a baggie. I thought I did good....not.
So while in NY it was time for me to make my famous lasagna as Mike calls it. I did made my sauce, added my seasoning packet, and then arranged everything in the pan and baked it. Dinner time came and we are at the table with my in-laws and a sister-in-law and her husband. Well...my husband takes a bite, and subtle as he is, says...something is wrong with this lasagna. "What ddi you do?" Ah..nothing different. Maybe it's the NY meat, lol. I have no idea. Either way we ate the whole pan. Obviously no one else had a problem with my lasagna.
Flash forward a couple of months and I am making another pan at home. I serve my husband his plate and he tells me I did it again. Hmm...I open my pantry and start smelling the spices I normally use. I bring one over to him and tell him to smell it. He puts his nose over the bottle and says "that's it." The it happens to be Thyme. He cannot stand Thyme and for all these years I must have not used it. This time I had the spice in the house for another recipe so I used it.
That night my stepdaughter got the pan of lasagna and the bottle of Thyme.
Here is my Lasagna Recipe:
For the Meat sauce:
2-2 1/2 lbs. chopped meat
2 medium onions, chopped
2 28 oz canes of diced tomatoes
2 12 oz cans tomato paste
1 Tbl minced garlic
2 Tbl sugar
2 ts salt
1 ts oregano
2 Tbl basil
2 bay leaves
Brown the meat in a sauce pan. When it is browned drain it, I don;t care for the fat. In a large pot cook the onion and garlic on a slash of olive oil on ver low for about 5 minutes. Add the drained beef and the rest of the ingredients. Let it come to a boil but keep it stirred so it doesn't stick to the bottom f the pan. Turn it down to low, cover it and simmer for about 45 minutes.
On my stove I have to use a simmer matt http://www.amazon.com/Simmer-Mat-5200-Diffuser/dp/B000W24RW8/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1362668109&sr=1-1&keywords=simmer+mat. My stove is always too hot even while on simmer so I can't make soups or sauces without them continuing to boil or sometimes burning. This simmer matt really helps me.
The sauce is now done:
Next I cook 12 pieces of lasagna according to the directions on the box.
Ingredients for the filling:
15 oz of Ricotta cheese
16 oz mozzarella
1 Tbl. dried parsley
Drain the lasagna noodles and lay them on a paper towel or clean dish towel. Mix the ricotta cheese, egg and parsley in a bowl. Chop the mozzarella into cubes.
Spread a little of the sauce on the bottom of your pan, mine is about 13"x9"
Next spread out 4 of the noodles making sure they overlap. Then add plops of the ricotta mix using about half of the ricotta mix.
Spread that around and then spread 1/2 of the cubed mozzarella on top of that.
Cover and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.
Once it is out of the oven it is ready to serve. I serve this with toasted Italian bread and extra sauce. I always enjoy this better the second day.
Another tip. Since it is only my husband and I, a big tray of lasagna is too much to eat. After we eat and the lasagna cools, I cut up the lasagna into serving size pieces. Then I put one piece plus extra sauce into a freezer bag. Pop them into the freezer and I have individual meals of lasagna for future use.