Simple Lasagna


12 lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 C. thinly sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
pinch of salt, pepper and sugar
1 jar (meatless) spaghetti sauce
1 15oz. container Ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 C. grated parmesan cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (more if you prefer)



Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, cook the pasta according to pkg. directions. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in a large skillet, when meat is browned drain the grease and add in the onions, peppers, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until veggies are tender, about 6-7 minutes. Add in the basil, oregano, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir well and add the spaghetti sauce and 1/4 C. of the parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and set aside. In a bowl combine the ricotta cheese, egg and remaining parmesan cheese. I like to add some of the mozzarella to this as well. Drain the pasta and rinse to cool. In a large baking dish, lightly sprayed with cooking spray, place 3 noodles on the bottom. Top each with a little of the ricotta mixture, then some of the meat and a little cheese. Do the same for 2 more layers ending with noodles on top (leave about 1/4 C. of the meat sauce to spread on top). Once you have the final layer done, spread the remaining sauce over the top and cover with cheese and a sprinkling of basil all over. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until top is golden and bubbly (about 15 more minutes). Let sit 10 minutes before slicing.

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