Thursdays Are For Cooking

| March 19, 2020

This one is from Betty C’s library. It’s just lasagna, but you all know by now that you can  ramp up just about any basic recipe to suit yourselves.  Since it’s a do-ahead, the kind of thing my grandmas both knew they’d need to address before the thundering herds of grandkids arrived, it’s an updated version of that same thing.  And this version uses all the modern conveniences that Grandma had to make herself during canning season, so enjoy the conveniences of modern life and toast your grandparents for their resourcefulness.

Do-Ahead Lasagna


1 ¼ lb bulk Italian pork sausage

1 jar (26 to 28 oz) tomato pasta sauce (any variety)

1 package (25 to 27 1/2 oz) frozen cheese-filled ravioli

2 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese (10 oz)

2tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


In 10-inch skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink; drain.

In ungreased 13 x 9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, spread 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce. Arrange single layer of frozen ravioli over sauce; evenly pour 1 cup pasta sauce over ravioli. Sprinkle evenly with 1 & 1/2 cups sausage and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers with remaining ravioli, pasta sauce and sausage.

Cover tightly with foil; refrigerate at least 8 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Heat oven to 350°F. Bake covered 45 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and the Parmesan cheese. Bake about 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and lasagna is hot in center. Let it stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Expert Tips

Let pasta casseroles stand a short time after baking for easier cutting and serving.

Serve with thick slices of garlic bread and a tossed green salad. If you still have room for dessert, offer scoops of raspberry and chocolate sorbet.


Category: Economy

Comments (12)

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  1. AW1Ed says:

    Even easier than Mom-In-Law’s lasagna with uncooked pasta (pasta cooks in the sauce). Thanks!

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      You’re welcome. There’s another one for tomorrow.

      Gotta keep the troops happy!

      • Just printed the recipe Ex, so I’ll have to use an aluminum bake dish since I gave away to friends most of my baking stuff including different sizes of glass baking dishes. Garlic bread sounds great as a go with. In Ireland, it’s called Gaelic bread/grin.

      • AW1Ed says:

        Two in a row? They’ll get spoiled and start to expect that! Then get all grumpy when it doesn’t happen.

        Then again, a bitchin’ Sailor is a happy Sailor. When they get all quiet you have to start to worry.

  2. 5th/77th FA says:

    num num num, lubs me some lasagna. Garfield ain’t got squat on me there. Have always loved Eyetalian dishes…Sophia Loren is an all time favorite.

    Never thought about using the cheese filled ravioli products to make lasagna, always just used the flat pasta. Will look into these when I make another provision run to the big city. I gots everything else in stock. Haven’t been outside the wire since last Friday.

    Thanks Ex!

  3. Since we are talking cheese recipes, A guy goes into a diner and asks for lamb chops Au Gratin to go so the waitress yells to the chef in the back–Cheese it the chops. For you young ones out there, it’s a play on words for a lookout to yell beat it the COPS.

  4. NHSparky says:

    Saving this for when the stores have meat again.

    And pasta.

    And canned goods.

    And cheese.

  5. Aysel says:

    ooooooo I like the idea of using the ravioli ^_^

  6. Sea Dragon says:

    Sea Dragon’s Manicotti Florentine

    12-14 uncooked manicotti shells
    1 lb lean ground beef
    1 cup chopped onion
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 jar (26 to 30 oz) pasta sauce
    2 boxes (9 oz each) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
    1 cup small curd cottage cheese
    1 cup ricotta cheese
    1 can (8 oz) mushroom pieces and stems, drained
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/4 tsp pepper
    2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
    2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 13×9 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.

    Squeeze, drain, and pat dry the spinach. In a medium bowl, mix spinach, cottage and ricotta cheese, mushrooms, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, nutmeg and pepper.

    In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until beef is browned. Drain, and stir in pasta sauce.

    Cook manicotti until still firm, using minimum cook time.

    Spread 1 cup of beef mixture in the bottom of the baking dish. Fill manicotti with the spinach mixture and place in baking dish. Spread any remaining spinach mixture between and around the manicotti. Pour the remaining beef mixture over the manicotti and cover completely. Cover with the mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.

    Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20 minutes, until hot and bubbling.

  7. gitarcarver says:

    My household has been making lasagna in the Instant Pot. A lot less cleanup and the lasagna seems “creamier” underneath the top layer (which does need to be browned somehow like in an oven.)

    We love to cook (and to eat) but absolutely hate cleaning up so the fewer dishes the better.