Ingredients for Easy Ragu Lasagna Recipe.
Lasagna is a classic Italian dish that is loved by people all around the world. Its layers of pasta, sauce, and cheese make it a comforting and delicious meal that is perfect for family gatherings or a cozy night at home. If you’re looking for an easy and tasty lasagna recipe, look no further than the Ragu Lasagna. This recipe combines the richness of Ragu sauce with the creaminess of cheese and the heartiness of ground beef. So let’s dive in and find out how to make this mouthwatering dish!
To make this easy Ragu lasagna, you’ll need a few simple ingredients:
Ragu Sauce – 2 jars (24 ounces each): Ragu is a well-known Italian sauce made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, and various herbs and spices. It is easily available in most supermarkets and comes in different flavors like traditional, meat, or tomato and basil. Choose the flavor that you prefer or mix and match to create a personalized taste.
Lasagna noodles – 1 box (12 noodles): Look for oven-ready lasagna noodles, as they save a lot of time and effort. However, if you can’t find them, you can use regular lasagna noodles, but make sure to cook them according to the package instructions before layering them in the lasagna.
Ground beef – 1 pound: Ground beef adds a savory and meaty flavor to the lasagna. You can also use a mix of beef and Italian sausage or ground turkey for a healthier version.
Mozzarella cheese – 2 cups (shredded): Mozzarella cheese is the star of any lasagna recipe. Its gooey texture and melt-in-your-mouth taste add richness to the dish. You can use either regular mozzarella or a mix of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese for added flavor.
Ricotta cheese – 2 cups: Ricotta cheese gives lasagna a creamy and smooth consistency. It is made from whey cheese and has a mild and slightly sweet taste. Look for whole milk ricotta for the best results.
Eggs – 2 (beaten): Eggs act as a binding agent, holding the layers of the lasagna together and giving it a firm texture.
Onion – 1 medium (diced): Onion adds a depth of flavor to the sauce and enhances the overall taste of the lasagna.
Garlic – 2 cloves (minced): Garlic is a must-have ingredient in any Italian dish. Its aromatic properties infuse the sauce and the whole lasagna with a delicious flavor.
Olive oil – 2 tablespoons: Olive oil is used for sautéing the onions and garlic and gives a slight hint of fruity flavor to the dish.
1 Salt and black pepper – to taste: Seasonings bring out the flavors of all the ingredients in the lasagna. Adjust the amount of salt and black pepper according to your taste preferences.
Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s move on to the cooking process. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and let’s get started!
Start by heating olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic, and sauté until they become soft and translucent. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until it is browned and no longer pink. Make sure to break up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
Once the ground beef is cooked, add the Ragu sauce to the skillet and stir to combine. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes, allowing all the flavors to meld together. Season with salt and black pepper according to your taste.
In a separate bowl, mix the beaten eggs with the ricotta cheese until well combined. This mixture will be spread over the first layer of noodles, adding creaminess to the lasagna.
Now it’s time to assemble the lasagna. Start by spreading a thin layer of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. This will prevent the noodles from sticking to the dish. Next, place a layer of lasagna noodles over the sauce. You may need to break some of the noodles to fit the pan. Spread a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles, followed by a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Repeat this process until you run out of ingredients, ending with a layer of meat sauce and a generous sprinkle of mozzarella cheese on top.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
Once the lasagna is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. This allows the layers to set and makes it easier to slice and serve.
And there you have it – a delectable Ragu lasagna that is sure to impress everyone at your table! The flavorful layers of tomato sauce, cheese, and tender noodles make for a perfect combination that will leave everyone craving for more.
This easy Ragu lasagna recipe is not only delicious but also incredibly versatile. You can customize it to your liking by adding vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, or zucchini to the sauce or replacing the ground beef with ground chicken or lentils for a vegetarian option. The possibilities are endless!
So, the next time you’re in the mood for a comforting and satisfying meal, give this easy Ragu lasagna recipe a try. With its simple ingredients and straightforward cooking process, it’s a dish that anyone can master.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Ragu Lasagna.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Ragu Lasagna
Lasagna is a classic Italian dish loved by many people around the world. While there are several variations of this dish, one very popular version is made with Ragu sauce. This rich and hearty lasagna is perfect for a family dinner or even a special occasion. If you’re looking to make your own Ragu lasagna, here is a step-by-step guide to help you prepare this delicious meal.
For the Ragu sauce:
– 1 pound (454g) ground beef
– 1 pound (454g) Italian sausage (mild or hot, depending on your preference)
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 2 carrots, finely chopped
– 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
– 1 can (28 ounces/800g) crushed tomatoes
– 1 can (6 ounces/170g) tomato paste
– 1 cup (250ml) beef broth
– 1 cup (250ml) red wine
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 teaspoon dried basil
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano
– Salt and pepper to taste
For the lasagna:
– 12 lasagna noodles
– 3 cups (750g) shredded mozzarella cheese
– 2 cups (500g) ricotta cheese
– 1 cup (250g) grated Parmesan cheese
– Fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)
Step 1: Prepare the Ragu sauce
– In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
– Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the pot and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
– Add the ground beef and Italian sausage to the pot, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until browned and no longer pink.
– Stir in the chopped carrots and celery, cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes.
– Pour in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, and red wine. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
– Season the sauce with dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Give it a good stir and bring the sauce to a simmer.
– Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce cook uncovered for about 5 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. The longer the sauce simmers, the more flavorful it will become.
Step 2: Cook the lasagna noodles
– Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil.
– Add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water and then add the lasagna noodles.
– Cook the noodles until al dente, following the instructions on the package.
– Once cooked, drain the noodles and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
Step 3: Assemble the lasagna
– Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
– Spread a thin layer of Ragu sauce on the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish to prevent the noodles from sticking.
– Place 3 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce, slightly overlapping them.
– Spread a layer of Ragu sauce over the noodles, followed by a layer of ricotta cheese and a sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
– Repeat this layering process, finishing with a layer of noodles on top.
– For the final layer, spread a generous amount of Ragu sauce and top it off with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
– Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
– After 25 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
– Once cooked, remove the lasagna from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
– Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired.
Step 4: Serve and enjoy
– Slice the Ragu lasagna into individual portions and serve hot.
– This lasagna pairs well with a fresh green salad and some garlic bread.
– Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for future meals.
Making Ragu lasagna from scratch can be a labor of love, but the end result is definitely worth it. The combination of the rich and flavorful Ragu sauce with the cheesy and comforting layers of lasagna noodles is simply irresistible. So, gather your ingredients, follow these step-by-step instructions, and treat yourself and your loved ones to a homemade Italian feast they won’t soon forget.
Tips and Tricks for Perfecting Your Ragu Lasagna.
Tips and Tricks for Perfecting Your Ragu Lasagna
There’s nothing quite like a comforting bite of well-made lasagna. Layers of rich, creamy cheese, hearty meat sauce, and perfectly cooked pasta all come together to create a dish that is both satisfying and delicious. While there are many variations of lasagna, one classic version that stands out is the Ragu lasagna. Made with a flavorful meat sauce and complemented with layers of cheese and pasta, Ragu lasagna is a crowd-pleaser that never fails to impress. Here are some tips and tricks to help you perfect your Ragu lasagna and make it the star of your next meal.
Choosing the Right Ingredients
The foundation of a great Ragu lasagna lies in the quality of its ingredients. For a meat sauce that bursts with flavors, opt for a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage. The fat in the sausage adds depth to the sauce, while the ground beef brings in a rich meaty taste. Use high-quality pasta sheets, preferably fresh, as they tend to cook better and retain a pleasant texture. Select a good-quality mozzarella and Parmesan cheese to ensure a great cheesy layer. Finally, don’t be afraid to splurge on the spices and herbs. Fresh basil, oregano, and a hint of nutmeg can elevate the taste of your Ragu sauce to a whole new level.
Consider a Long-Simmered Ragu
When making the meat sauce for your Ragu lasagna, consider investing your time in a long-simmered ragu. Slow cooking the sauce over low heat will help the flavors develop and meld together. Start by cooking the onions and garlic in olive oil until they are soft and translucent. Then, add the ground beef and Italian sausage, breaking them apart with a wooden spoon. Allow the meat to brown and develop a rich caramelized crust. This step adds depth and complexity to the sauce’s flavor. Incorporate your preferred herbs and spices and let the sauce simmer for at least one hour, but longer if possible. The longer the sauce simmers, the more intense and flavorful it will become.
Master the Layering Technique
The delicate layering of pasta, sauce, and cheese is what sets lasagna apart from other pasta dishes. Begin by spreading a thin layer of sauce at the bottom of your baking dish to prevent the pasta from sticking. Then, place a layer of pasta sheets on top of the sauce. It’s essential to overlap the sheets slightly, leaving no gaps. This technique ensures that your lasagna holds its shape once it’s cooked. Now, add a layer of meat sauce, spreading it evenly across the pasta. Sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over the sauce. Repeat the layers until you run out of ingredients, making sure to finish with a layer of cheese on top. The layering technique guarantees that each forkful is a perfect balance of sauce, pasta, and cheese.
Don’t Forget the Resting Time
Once your Ragu lasagna is assembled, give it some time to rest before serving. Allowing the lasagna to sit for at least 15-20 minutes before cutting into it will result in cleaner slices that hold their shape. This resting time allows the different components of the lasagna to settle and bind together, making it easier to portion and serve without the layers falling apart. Additionally, the flavors will become more pronounced during this time, making your lasagna even tastier.
Experiment with Flavors
While traditional Ragu lasagna is undeniably delicious, don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and ingredients. Consider adding a layer of sautéed mushrooms or roasted vegetables for an extra burst of flavor and texture. You can also swap the beef for ground turkey or combine different types of meat for a unique twist. Alternatively, if you prefer a meatless option, substitute the meat sauce with a flavorful marinara or arrabbiata sauce. Dare to get creative and play with flavors to create your custom version of the perfect Ragu lasagna.
In conclusion, crafting a perfect Ragu lasagna is all about attention to detail and selecting high-quality ingredients. Take the time to develop a robust and flavorful meat sauce by slow cooking it to perfection. Master the layering method to ensure each bite is a delight to the palate. Allow your lasagna to rest before serving to ensure clean slices and enhance the flavors. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment and add your personal touch to create a Ragu lasagna that makes a lasting impression. Enjoy the journey of perfecting your Ragu lasagna, and savor every moment of indulgence.
Variations and Additions to Customize Your Ragu Lasagna.
Variations and Additions to Customize Your Ragu Lasagna
Lasagna is a beloved Italian dish that has become a staple in many households around the world. One popular variation of lasagna is made with a rich and flavorful ragu sauce. Ragu lasagna is a comforting and filling dish that can be easily customized to suit your tastes and preferences. In this article, we will explore some variations and additions that will take your ragu lasagna to the next level.
One way to add a healthy twist to your ragu lasagna is by incorporating a flavorful vegetable medley. Sauté an assortment of vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms with garlic and olive oil. Layer the vegetable medley between the ragu sauce and cheese layers for an added dose of nutrients and a burst of flavors.
Spinach and Ricotta:
If you are looking to add some extra creaminess and a pop of color to your ragu lasagna, consider adding a layer of spinach and ricotta. Sauté fresh spinach with garlic and mix it with creamy ricotta cheese. Spread this mixture on top of the ragu sauce layer and continue layering with noodles and cheese. The spinach and ricotta combination will add freshness and a delightful texture to your lasagna.
To elevate the cheesy goodness of your ragu lasagna, experiment with a three-cheese blend. Use a combination of mozzarella, Parmesan, and ricotta. The mozzarella will provide the stretchy melty factor, the Parmesan will add a nutty flavor, and the ricotta will contribute a creamy texture. Spread the three cheeses in between each layer to create a cheesy marriage made in heaven.
Sausage and Mushroom:
For meat lovers, combining sausage and mushrooms with the ragu sauce is a great choice. Sauté the sausage and mushrooms together in a pan until they are nicely browned and fragrant. Add this flavorful mixture to the ragu sauce and layer it with the noodles and cheese. The savory, earthy flavors of the sausage and mushrooms will make your lasagna incredibly satisfying.
To give your ragu lasagna a twist of freshness and herbaceousness, consider adding a layer of pesto. Use store-bought or homemade pesto and evenly spread it on top of the ragu sauce layer. The pesto will infuse your lasagna with aromatic flavors from ingredients such as basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. This addition will take your lasagna from delicious to extraordinary.
If you are a fan of the classic Italian dish Eggplant Parmesan, why not incorporate it into your ragu lasagna? Slice the eggplant into thin rounds and bread them in a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and herbs. Bake the eggplant slices until they are golden and crispy. Layer the baked eggplant rounds between the ragu sauce and cheese layers to add a delightful crunchy texture to your lasagna.
Roasted Red Peppers:
For a burst of smoky sweetness, roasted red peppers are an excellent addition to your ragu lasagna. You can use store-bought roasted red peppers or make your own by roasting fresh red bell peppers in the oven until the skin is charred. Peel off the skin, slice the peppers, and layer them in your lasagna. The roasted red peppers will add a beautiful color and depth of flavor to the dish.
Customizing your ragu lasagna with these variations and additions will allow you to create a unique and personalized dish that suits your taste buds. Whether you prefer a vegetarian lasagna with a vegetable medley or a meat lover’s delight with sausage and mushrooms, the possibilities are endless.