Okay girls get your recipe cards out. This one's a keeper. Mimi, my MIL whose real name is Louraine, has legendary lasagna and she just taught me how to make it. It's one of those recipes that tastes much more complicated than it is and you can tell your friends/husband that you've slaved over it all day and really you just make your stove slave over it and you don't have to do much at all. Good luck! If you make it let me know how it tasted! Freezes very well.
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans Hunts Diced tomatoes (28 ounce can) either plain OR with Basil Garlic and Oregano
2 cans Hunts tomato sauce (15 ounce can)
1 package lasagna noodles (She suggests Barilla 1 lb package)
3 tsp Oregano
8 oz package of grated Mozzarella cheese
8 oz package of Monterrey Jack cheese
1 9x13 pan, plus 1 8x8. The recipe makes enough to freeze one smaller pan.
The sauce needs to cook all day or at least 5-6 hours. It reduces by almost half and it's an important part of the recipe. Empty tomatoes and sauce into large saucepan and fill each can with water and add it to the pan. Now you can throw the cans away! Add oregano and stir well. Put pan over low/medium heat and stir occasionally, (literally, I stir it maybe once every hour.) Reduce heat if liquid boils too much-you don't want to make a huge mess.
After tomatoes have reduced or you're ready to show off for your in-laws/boss/husband, remove tomatoes from heat. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease pans for lasagna. Mix cheeses together in a bowl. Brown chopped onion and meat in skillet and then add to tomato mixture. Boil lasagna noodles for 10 minutes even though it says 8-9 on the package. Don't ask questions just do it. That's what Louraine said to me when I asked her if she was sure about the 10 minutes. Drain noodles and place one layer (trim noodles to fit) in bottom of pan. Then spoon a thin layer of tomato/meat mixture over to cover noodles. Sprinkle cheese mixture over meat mixture--again, a thin layer--and then start a new layer with noodles. There should be three layers total for the lasagna.
The key to this recipe is thin layers--just enough meat/cheese/noodles to cover the layer below and not too much of any one thing. It sounds like it wouldn't matter but it's exactly the right amount of ingredients AND it's melt in your mouth good if you just put thin layers. Like she said, don't ask questions just do it.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving to let the liquid soak back up into the noodles. Yum. Enjoy!