Lasagna

Basic Meat-Tomato Sauce
9 to 12 large lasagna noodles
Mozzarella cheese, grated
1 tub Ricotta cheese
1 egg
Grated Parmesan cheese
Italian herbs
Garlic, pressed, or garlic salt
Olive oil


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and dry pasta. Heat oven to 350F. Keep an eye on noodles while boiling to make sure they do not stick to each other or the pot. They may need to be stirred or turned on their sides as they soften. Cook until tender, but still very firm. Drain and cover with cold water to stop cooking and make handling easier.

While pasta is cooking, mix together Ricotta, 1/4 to 1/2 cup Parmesan, egg, herbs, and garlic. Set aside.

Coat the bottom of a large glass, pyrex, or ceramic casserole dish or 9x15 cake pan with olive oil. Do not use a metal pan. Arrange one layer of noodles in the bottom of the pan, making sure to squeeze the excess water off with your fingers first. Spread half of the ricotta mixture evenly over noodles. Next spread on a layer of tomato sauce, and sprinkle with mozarella to coat. Repeat layers of noodles, ricotta, sauce, and mozzarella. You may want to press the second layer of noodles to remove air spaces. For the top layer, use noodles, sauce, and mozzarella only. You can cut the noodles to make them fit your pan, making sure the noodle layers reach all the way to the edges. Top your casserole with plenty of mozzarella, or add extra parmesan or other cheeses if you like.

Cover with foil (make sure foil does not touch cheese), place in oven and bake for at least 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until top begins to brown. Let cool for a few minutes before serving, casserole will be very gooey and hot!

Serve with bread and a salad.

* * * I have used fresh zucchini in lasagnas. Layer the raw squash inside anywhere you like, and then bake.