I've mentioned before that I'm not a big fan of ricotta cheese. So my favorite lasagnas do not include it. This is by far the favorite lasagna (besides Victoria's in Norman, OBVIOUSLY) of all my picky eaters. It's a time-consuming dish to make, yes, but this one is worth it!
from America's Test Kitchen : '09
for meatballs and sauce:
1 lb ground beef
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup minced basil or parsley (or a combination of both)
3 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
for noodles and cheese:
12 dried lasagna noodles
1 lb whole-milk mozzarella, shredded
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450. Mix meatballs- ground beef, cheese, breadcrumbs, eggs, and up to 5 tbs basil, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Roll into 1 tsp sized meatballs. Place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, gently heat garlic and olive oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add tomatoes, cook 10-15 minutes. Off the heat, add 3 tbs basil, season with salt and pepper. Stir meatballs into sauce and cover to keep warm.
Lower oven temperature to 400.
Boil pasta. Drain and cool under water.
Spray a 9*13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Ladle 3 tbs sauce on the bottom. Top with 3 noodles, then 1 1/2 cups sauce/meatballs, then 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat with 2 more layers. On the fourth and final layer, cover pasta with 1 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.
You can also cover well (before baking) and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.