I’m sure every family has its own version of this classic Italian dish…but I promise you, you’ll want to give this recipe a try sometime.
In our Irish home, we table-tested many lasagna recipes over the years before realising we are truly, deeply, and madly in love with this Irish version dreamed up by my sister-in-law Ann. Thanks Ann!
What makes this recipe the clear winner for us is the absolute deliciousness of the dish. It’s comforting, without being too heavy, and it has lots of flavour. When paired with a side salad and a slice (or two) of homemade garlic bread, everyone leaves the table happy and satisfied. What’s more, my girls and sweet husband will take a slice in their lunch the next day. Don’t you just love it when a supper can become an easy-to-make lunch too?
Another reason Ann’s Weeknight Lasagna is a favourite in our home…it’s just so easy to make. Unlike traditional lasagna, there’s no béchamel sauce (also known as “white sauce” in Ireland) in this recipe. Instead, whole milk ricotta is added directly to the meat sauce, saving time but not scrimping on flavour. And, this recipe calls for precooked noodles, so there’s no hassle and time commitment there either. This recipe is just a win-win-win all around.
Ann’s Weeknight Lasagna can be assembled up to a day in advance and baked right before dinner (great for exam week or anytime everyone is helter skelter). It is great as a family meal, but it is also impressive enough to serve guests. Add a bottle (or two!) of vino, light some pillar candles, turn on some Italian music, and you’ve got the makings of a fun dinner party. And, you know I hate to be a Delia-Downer but I am ever-practical, if you’re looking for a meal to deliver to someone-in-need, this is the perfect, delicious, easy-to-make dish.
Oh, this weeknight lasagna, Irish-style, is good for so many reasons. It may not be your mum’s recipe, but all I can say is “try it…you’re gonna like it!”
Weeknight Lasagna à la Ann
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
450g/1 pound lean minced beef (hamburger meat)
1 pinch of dried basil, oregano and rosemary
2 x 680gram/48 ounces spaghetti sauce
8 oz whole milk ricotta
227g/80z chopped mushrooms
box of oven ready lasagne pasta
16oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F degrees.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over moderate heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent.
3. Add mince, being sure to break it up into small pieces. Add oregano and rosemary to taste. When the mince is cooked thoroughly, drain off any excess fat, then add the spaghetti sauce, mushrooms and the whole milk ricotta. Mix well and remove from heat.
4. Into a 9 x 13 x2 inch-baking dish, spoon a thin layer of mince sauce. Top with a layer of lasagne noodles, do not let the noodles touch each other or the sides of the baking dish. Next add a layer of shredded mozzarella. Then top with lasagna noodles, and another layer of sauce. Repeat layers as before, until your top layer of sauce is just about even with your baking dish. Sprinkle with the last of the shredded mozzarella.
5. Cover dish with aluminum (tin foil) and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. (Alternatively, refrigerate until ready to use).
6. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
7. Remove from the oven, top with some finely grated Parmesan, if desired. Let sit for five minutes before cutting.