My kids and I had a lot of fun making this lasagna for their dad. While they occupied themselves with blocks and dolls, I made a bechamel sauce and cooked some bulk Italian sausage. When it was time to layer, they joined in, my 2-year-old sprinkling the mozzarella while my 5-year-old spread the other layers and added the noodles. Because my boys don't like ricotta, I tried substituting the white sauce for the usual ricotta-egg mixture. The results were mixed, lighter and less like a brick of lasagna but also much sloppier. I liked it.
This got quite a few pans dirty, but I tend to think of lasagna as a special-occasion meal, so it's worth it:
First I started browning some mild bulk Italian sausage in a big skillet (about 1/2 pound). Then I made the bechamel. I ended up with twice as much as I needed, so I'm halving the recipe here for you. I melted 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan, then added 1/4 cup flour. Whisked and cooked until the roux browned a bit but not too much.
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Then I whisked in 1 1/2 cups milk a little bit at a time. Once all the milk was in the saucepan, I heated on medium-low until it bubbled. Then I added 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Then I turned back to the sausage.
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Once the meat was browned, I stirred in 2/3 jar of marinara sauce. Then I shredded 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese. Now we're ready to layer in a 9-inch-square baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray.
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1st layer: a couple tablespoons of the plain marinara sauce left in the jar. Next: 2 no-boil lasagna noodles, 1/3 the bechamel, 1/2 the meat sauce, 1/3 the shredded mozzarella. 3rd layer: 2 noodles, another 1/3 portion of the bechamel, the rest of the meat sauce, another 1/3 mozzarella. 4th layer: 2 noodles, the rest of the plain pasta sauce in the jar, the rest of the bechamel, the rest of the mozzarella. Bake at 375F for 50 minutes. Let sit at least 10 minutes until it firms up a bit. I think if we had waited longer we would've had a somewhat firmer lasagna, but it's never going to be so firm that it can be neatly cut.
[link href="https://landcruisers.info/Articles/Food/Recipes/10-Luscious-Lasagnas.html" link_updater_label="external_hearst" target="_blank"]10 Luscious Lasagnas
— Kim Walker