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Prep 45 mins
Cook 0 mins
This quick version of lasagna is bursting with flavor and easy to make. The Italian sausage and pepperoni add to this dish by giving it a pizza-like flavor. Feel free to use any jarred pasta sauce, or wow your tastebuds with my Grandma Shannon's Spaghetti Sauce recipe below! Enjoy!
- 4 cups spaghetti sauce, recipe below
- 1 lb penne or 1 lb rotini pasta
- 1 egg, beaten
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese or 1 small curd cottage cheese
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
- 2 1⁄2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for top)
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (reserve 2 T. for top)
- salt and pepper
- 1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (or use 1 T. dried parsley)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground beef (I substitute ground turkey or Italian sausage)
- 4 ounces pepperoni, chopped (optional)
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 28 ounces water
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1⁄4 cup fresh basil (or use 1 T. dried basil)
- fennel seed, and
- crushed red pepper flakes, ground
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
- Prepare spaghetti sauce in advance; set aside to cool. I do mine the night before and place in the refrigerator to cool overnight. If using the recipe for my Grandma's spaghetti sauce, see recipe below.
- Boil noodles al dente. Drain and give a quick rinse in cold water to stop the cooking. Stir the pasta into the spaghetti sauce; set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine egg, Ricotta (or cottage cheese), Mozzarella, Romano, salt, pepper and parsley.
- In a foil-lined and greased 10x13-inch casserole pan, spread half of the pasta/meat mixture into the bottom of the pan; layer cheese mixture over all; top with remaining pasta/meat mixture. Sprinkle the reserved Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese over the top. (If freezing, stop here, cover with heavy duty foil and freeze. Once fully frozen, you can pop the casserole out of the 10x13 pan and place in a large Ziploc bag to go back into the freezer. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw in refrigerator; bake as directed.)
- Bake in a 375°F oven for 50 minutes. Uncover and cook an additional 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly and nicely browned on top.
- Grandma Shannon's Spaghetti Sauce:
- Saute the onion, garlic and meat over medium-high heat. (Add garlic after the onion and meat have been sauteed for 4-5 min.).
- Add the remaining ingredients and let simmer for 1 hour or more. Serve over your favorite pasta. Serve with green salad, French/Italian bread, and red wine.
Wonderful recipe! I've made this a couple times now and my family all loves it. I also got 2 casseroles out of the recipe & froze one for a later date. The spaghetti sauce takes a bit of time to make but I think it's well worth it. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us. :)
Great recipe. It was much quicker than layering lasagna noodles. My picky son even ate it. I used ricotta instead of cottage cheese and did not add the red pepper flakes. I actually got 2 casseroles out of the recipe so I froze one for another day. Thanks for the great casserole idea.
This was a hit at my last family gathering!