Last weekend on our way to the party I realized I forgot my camera. Ahhh!!!! Well technically, I had my camera with me. I forgot the battery…for the camera…in the charger….at home. I was so mad at myself! We stopped at battery store on the way there, but they did not carry the correct one. So all of the amazing pictures I took….are on my friends camera and because of the débâcle and leaving early….I didn’t make it back to get the pics!
So let me describe the party a bit – the birthday girl Mitzi loves bright colors. We thought it would be fun to have some t-shirts printed with bright happy colors. Each one was printed with a birthday wish and a great picture of Mitzi – super fun! We had 25 printed and everyone at the party wore their t-shirt! We had the party at their home and Mitzi’s garden is absolutely magical! Everyone enjoyed a beverage & their meal, we took a fun group picture, there was no crying, just lots of laughter and fellowship – it was a super fun day!
The lasagna was definitely a hit, but it couldn’t have been easier! I took some shortcuts – some may shake their heads, but if you work too hard, it’s just not fun. My recipe for lasagna is easy and delicious.
I use regular lasagna noodles, not the no-boil noodles and I always bake it the day before. Tastes better that way and because we were serving a crowd, allowing it to cool down – it’s easier to slice into portion sizes. That way when you bake it the next day it’s a breeze to serve. I sliced this into 16 servings – this feeds a crowd!
- 2 1 lb. packages lasagna noodles, uncooked
- 2 32 oz. jars Marinara sauce
- 1 small jar pesto
- 1½ lb. hamburger
- 1 16 oz. package sweet Italian sausage
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 32 oz. package ricotta cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup water
- 6 cups mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Start by browning the hamburger & sausage. Add the onions and saute until the meat is well brown and the onions are soft. Drain off the excess fat and add the garlic. Saute for another minute or so - turn off the pan and allow the mixture to cool completely.
- Combine ricotta cheese and eggs and whisk together until light & fluffy. When the meat mixture is cool, add to the cheese and mix well. (If you add the meat before it cools the ricotta cheese will melt and the eggs will scramble!)
- Pour the sauce into a bowl and add a ¼ cup pesto and 1 cup water to the sauce. Mix to combine.
- Assemble the lasagna - nope - I don't cook the noodles! Start by ladling sauce in the bottom of the lasagna pan. Top with noodles, cheese/meat mixture, sauce, mozzarella cheese, repeat, finishing with sauce on top, dot with mozzarella cheese. Dot with just a touch of pesto on top - just a couple teaspoons (not too much or it will get greasy on top). Cover tightly with tin foil. Sealing it completely.
- Place on a cookie sheet just in case the lasagna bubbles over. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake uncovered until browned and bubbly 20-30 minutes.
- If you are cooking this the day ahead, the next day you will just need to remove it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes to take the chill off. Return to the oven - 45-60 minutes until it is headed thru. Allow to sit for 20 minutes prior to serving.