Eating Italian - Nine of Cups Lasagne


Since we've arrived in Las Vegas, I've been hard-pressed to keep up with Mary in the cooking department. She's does most of the cooking and sometimes allows me to be the sous-chef, prepping veggies, etc. That's okay with me, she's a terrific cook and seems to do it all effortlessly. I pick up a tidbit or two whenever we cook together. Every once in awhile, however, she's either not around for dinner or needs a break from her cooking duties and I have to dig into my Nine of Cups recipes for something for dinner. Easy and tasty are necessary ingredients for anything I make and Nine of Cups Lasagne fits the bill on both counts. I make this on the boat when I have the ingredients. On land, it's a piece of cake … I mean, lasagne.

Nine of Cups Lasagne
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Marcie Connelly Lynn
There are three parts to the recipe ... a ricotta cheese filling, a meat sauce, and finally, the assembly of the lasagne layers. Sounds a little complicated, but it's easy-peasy.
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese, drained (or 3 cups of creamed cottage cheese ... cheaper, lower fat and calories and just as good)
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp salt / 1 tsp pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 lb (1/2 kg) ground meat aka mince (beef, chicken, turkey or even sausage meat)
  • 1 15-oz can/tin chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 1 6 oz can (170g) tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced fine
  • Lasagne noodles
  • 2-3 cups Mozarella or Italian blend cheese, grated
  1. Combine cheeses, parsley, salt, pepper and eggs till smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  2. Cook meat and garlic till lightly browned and then drain as necessary. Add tomatoes, paste and herbs/spices and simmer for about 15 minutes uncovered, till sauce is thick.
  3. Lasagne noodles do not need to be pre-cooked nor do you have to spend extra to buy “pre-cooked”. Just rinse dry noodles under water before layering in the casserole. I usually use about 2-3 lasagne sheets per layer and I make either a 2 or 3 layer lasagne.
  4. Spray a medium size rectangular oven-proof baking dish with cooking spray.
  5. Each layer of the lasagne includes: Lasagne sheets (2, 3, 4 ...whatever will lie flat in your baking dish without too much overlap. Breaking noodles to custom-fit your pan is allowed.) Depending upon the number of layers, divide the ricotta filling evenly and spread on top of the noodles. Divide the meat filling evenly and ladle on top of the ricotta. Spread 1 cup grated mozarella on top of the meat filling
  6. Repeat.
  7. Note: If you're using a smaller, deeper baking dish, it usually requires 3 layers instead of two.
  8. Bake for about 40-45 minutes in 350F (180C) oven till cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and let "rest" for 10 minutes, till the layers set. Serve with garlic bread and salad and maybe Chianti wine?