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Today we’re going back to the basics with a simple homemade lasagna recipe. As much as I love the funky recipes like these melon and tofu spring rolls or this beef stew and french onion soup hybrid, I also love classics. When it really comes down to it, the food I most crave are the comfort food classics I grew up eating.
Like lasagna. I’m such an addict when it comes to Italian food though. I could eat pasta with some sort of sauce, olive oil, crispy italian bread and proscuitto every day for the rest of my life and never tire of it. I’ve been all over the world and some of the most memorable meals I can remember come from my trip to Italy with my family in 2010.
That trip was so special for a multitude of reasons, but it really changed the way I think of food and eating all together. I saw how much the Italians savored every bite, how meal time was a time to catch up with friends and family. Food wasn’t just something to eat to pass the time to get your nutrients, it was romantic and sensual. I came home with an entire new appreciation for eating, serving and cooking.
I like to say I held onto that feeling, but when I was busting out recipe after recipe for the past 3 years of my life, I kind of lost it. I turned from cooking with love to cooking for money and income. Even though I’ve been out of that world for 3 months now, it’s still taking me time to find that happiness I once had in the kitchen.
I will say, though, it’s coming back in spurts and certain foods really ignite that Italian mentality when I’m cooking, like this simple homemade lasagna. It’s not a complicated dish or an expensive one, but it’s one that just brings back so many amazing memories of growing up with my mom in the kitchen. It’s one that you can’t just shovel down in front of the tv. Every bite should be savored and tasted. That’s why I love Prego’s new Farmer’s Market Marinara sauces – they taste like something you’d have at a mom and pop shop in Italy, but you can simply hop over to your nearest Walmart and add that fresh, homemade taste to your own lasagna with ingredients you’d find at your nearest farmers market or favorite Italian market, without the $1,000 plane ticket.
I realize how crazy, corny and “Eat Pray Love” that sounds, but it’s true. This was the first meal in a long time that my husband and I just ate, together, with a bottle of wine and no background noise. And if a dish can turn us away from our TV rut, it deserves at least a blog post, don’t you think?
Simple Homemade Lasagna
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Serves about 12. Inspired by All Recipes.
Prep time: About 45 minutes – 1 hour
Cook time: 40 – 50 minutes
- 16 ounces lasagna noodles
- 1 pound lean ground beef (I used 92/8)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon dried italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 large eggs, room temperature (I used brown ones)
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups sliced fresh mozzarella cheese