For a long time, I didn't really care for it all that much. Especially if the ricotta was too granular and ooky. I can't really explain what makes ricotta taste ooky, but I think you'd know it if you ran into it. Please don't make me eat ooky lasagne, see also DRY. No dry lasagne!
Italian sausage makes me burp these days, and it's too spicy for me.
Friends? I've tried the no boil noodles, and for me, they are not awesome because they have no curly edges. I can't happily eat lasagne without the curly edges to the noodles. But if you are stressed for time, you can use them. If I have the time, I like the kind you boil first.
What should I call this lasagne?? How about:
about 4-6 cups of your favorite meat or veggie spaghetti sauce. (I'm guessing this amount. Prolly about 4 or 5 cups, depending on how 'saucy' you like your lasagne.)
1 30oz tub of full fat ricotta cheese
large handful of fresh basil, ripped into pieces
3 cups grated mozzarella
1 5oz container grated parmesan
1 box of lasagna noodles, although I didn't use all of it because my pan got filled up before all the noodles were used.
Either make whatever sauce you like, or thaw it from the freezer, like I did. Totally not helpful that I'm not giving you a sauce recipe, but that's a recipe for another day. Boil the noodles according to package directions, in salted water with 1 T. olive oil in the water, so the noodles don't stick together. Drain and lay out flat on paper towels.
Prepare ricotta filling. Empty the tub of ricotta into a food processor, along with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a few grinds of pepper, 2 whole eggs, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, and the shredded basil. Pulse/process until creamy looking and basil and egg are uniformly distributed.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray nonstick cooking spray or smear some oil on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. I used a glass pan. Spread a half cup of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Begin layering. Noodles, ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/3 cup parmesan, cup of meat sauce. Yes your sauce will get kind of gloppy on top of the ricotta, that's ok. Repeat layering 3 more times. On top of the last noodle layer, (you should be out of ricotta filling at this point), spread the remaining sauce, and make a nice uniform layer of mozzarella and parmesan cheese, you can spread on a bit more than you did on the in-between layers.
What's great about lasagna is that it's all pretty much up to you. Bake for about 35 minutes, covered with foil. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes. (if you have chilled the lasagne at all in the refrigerator, bake about 40-45 minutes initially, and then another 15-20 minutes uncovered. If you kept it in the fridge overnight, let it sit at room temp for 15 or so minutes before baking. I carefully poke my finger in the center to make sure it's not cold in the middle, but don't burn yourself and then get mad at me ok??).
Let rest 5-10 minutes and then eat your lasagne. The entire recipe can be cut in half and baked in an 8 inch pan to feed four people. The full recipe will feed 8-10 people. I also find cold lasagne to be CRAZY delicious.