Okay I know the word “lousy” and lasagna should probably not be included in the same blog post, but I can’t think of the world “lazy” without singing this little diddy
“lazy, lousy liza jane…” in my mind.
and yes I know it’s a little weird, and no I can’t help what pops into my head anymore than you can….but I bet my 30 and 40-something readers who are pioneer girls at heart, know exactly where I got that lovely little limerick (say that fast three times)
It came from the best 1970’s show EVER on TV (in my mind anyway) until it “jumped the shark” and Albert became a druggie and Almanzo and Laura's niece Jenny came to live with them, and then they burned down the town..
but in it's early days “Little House on the Prairie” reigned supreme in our home.
See Eliza Jane was Almanzo’s spinster sister who traveled with him to Walnut Grove, to teach in the one room schoolhouse/church/hospital(during the occasional epidemic or blizzard). She didn’t like Laura very much, and none of the students seem to like her since they chanted the above in an attempt to humiliate poor Eliza.
So now three decades later, I can’t hear the word lazy without singing in my head…
“lazy, lousy liza jane…lazy, lousy liza jane”
So now that I’ve given you a little glimpse into my snow covered, befuddled, winter doldrums mind…please leave cause it can be a scary place.
Lazy Four-Layer Lasagna is so named because one-it has 4 layers and two-I get to be a little lazy (bet you can’t read that now without singing “lazy, lousy. liza jane..”) when I cook it since I use no boil lasagna noodles
which revolutionized my lasagna making.
I like no boil noodles for several reasons, but the main one (besides convenience) is I detest runny, mushy lasagna. I like my lasagna noodles al’dente. The no boil noodles come out perfectly al’ dente…which makes me happy. And since the above ramblings prove I can be a little crazy, it’s important that I stay happy.
Now, I know that the no boil are a little bit more, but it’s a splurge I’m willing to spend…and as you will see below, it still will come out under $10 so splurge away on the no boil, they’re worth it!
Lazy Four-Layer Lasagna
Serves 8 (with leftovers)
1 box or 16 pieces of no bake lasagna noodles (I really like Barilla, personal preference though) (1.62)
1 lb. ground beef or ground round (1.69)
2 cloves garlic minced (.10)
2 ½ tsp. oregano, divided (PI)
2 ½ tsp thyme, divided (PI)
1 tsp. salt (PI)
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper (PI)
1 jar favorite spaghetti sauce (for this recipe I use Ragu Parmesan and Romano) (1.45)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (.49)
1 16 oz. carton Ricotta cheese (1.10)
1 egg, lightly beaten (.08)
2 to 2 ½ cups of shredded cheese of choice (I combine, Italian blend, cheddar and Parmesan. It’s a great way to use leftover shredded cheese) (2.50)
In a large skillet brown beef just until no longer pink (avoid overcooking), drain and add back into skillet. Add in minced garlic, 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp of thyme, salt and pepper; cooking an additional 3 minutes.
Place ¼ of a cup of your spaghetti sauce into bottom of a 9 X 13 pan. This will help your noodles to not stick to bottom while baking.
Add remaining spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce into skillet with ground beef and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. While sauce is simmering, combine ricotta cheese, egg, and additional 1 tsp oregano and1 tsp of thyme together in a medium size bowl.
Remove sauce from burner.
Layer 4 lasagna noodles on bottom of pan, slightly overlapping. op noodles with 1/3 of ricotta cheese, spreading with a spatula,
¼ of meat sauce and ¼ of cheese.
Top the 4th layer of lasagna noodles with remaining ¼ of meat mixture
and ¼ of cheese. Sprinkle with ½ tsp of oregano and ½ tsp of thyme.
Cover with tinfoil, tenting in middle so that cheese will not stick.
Bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove foil, and bake for an additional 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and melted.
Let lasagna sit out for about 5 minutes, to firm up.
Total Cost: $9.03 (and you will get at least two meals out of this!)