Stop sauce shaming.
I get my sauce from a jar. Yours is made from scratch. Mine is better, because the taste isn’t tainted with sanctimonious douchebaggery.
“Oh, you get your sauce from a jar? Wow, I can’t believe you don’t make it from scratch. I always—”
Yes, I get my sauce from a fucking jar, and my lasagna is still delicious. I got shit to do, so I cut some corners. Go make your sauce from scratch up there on your high horse while you try to make others feel like lesser humans for getting it out of jars. Eat some fucking dark chocolate while you’re at it, you holier-than-thou ass monkey.
You want some fancy vegetarian gluten free eggplant lasagna recipe? You go away from here. This is some basic shit. Basically fucking tasty and doesn’t take all fucking day. And I make a shit-ton. Cuz leftovers. Or cuz having lots-of-people-overs. Bring booze.
About the Sauce
My turn to sauce shame: Just say no to Ragu. Prego isn’t much better.
I prefer Classico. I like the four cheese one, but pick whichever variety strikes your fancy. Except for this one.
“Vodka Sauce”? What the fucking fuck? Why in the name of Charles Manson’s dingleberries would you make a pasta sauce with vodka? Vodka flavored lasagna? Barf and puke and retch.
I’m having a flashback to being 17 and drinking an entire bottle of the shit straight. Later that night I barfed up my toenails. No hyperbole. It took three months for those toenails to grow back.
“Hrrrrr … Hrrrr… He-BBBLLLLLLAAAARARRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!”
*Prays for death in Canadian*
It was horrid. I pulled muscles. I cried. My sister laughed at me. I didn’t speak to her for a month, and only partially because that’s how long it took my vocal cords to grow back.
No vodka sauce.
Ingredients to Make a Metric Shit-ton of Epic Lasagna
- 3 pint size jars of a sauce of your choosing. Meaning Classico brand 4 cheese sauce or you’re an idiot. If you use vodka sauce I will bring my Henckel 5-Star to your house and cut you.
- 4 lbs of lean hamburger.
- 1 bunch of green onions, chopped.
- 1 small or medium-sized onion. Diced. Don’t forget to cry like a little bitch.
- Some brown mushrooms. I dunno how many. Uh, a little less than half a paper bag? Sure.
- A bell pepper. Any color but green. Orange is pretty.
- Garlic. Fresh. Lots. Through a press. Makes the house smell like love.
- Some Italian spices and shit. Like, I have this one called “Italian Seasoning,” so it seems logical. A wee bit of salt and pepper won’t hurt.
- If you have a tomato sitting around that’s just going to rot in the fridge anyway before you throw it out, dice that sucker up and put it in there.
- Whole-wheat lasagna noodles, because fuck the research that says whole wheat isn’t better for you. That research is bullshit. How many noodles? Do the math, plus a couple extra, because those fuckers are wimps and they rip.
- A pint tub of Ricotta cheese mixed together with two eggs.
- Mozzarella, and don’t skimp. If you buy the reduced fat kind remember that big-ass Henckel I have to cut you with.
- Some kind of Parmesan stuff. Get fancy. I don’t care.
Notice something missing?
Spinach. Spinach is “missing,” because spinach in lasagna is dumber than invading Russia in pre-global warming era winter. “Oh, hey. Here’s a great idea. Let’s take this wonderful Italian dish and fucking ruin it by putting in a layer of green shit that’s going to turn to slime and taste bitter as all fuck.”
Fuck you and your damn spinach. No spinach.
While you’re at the store, buy one of those fucking pre-made loaves of garlic bread. I love that shit.
You’re going to need a big-ass frying pan, preferably one with a lid.
- Brown the beef on medium heat and drain it – put back in the pan.
- Add in the sauce that you bought at the store and didn’t have to spend all fucking day making so you could feel less horrible about your miserable existence. After doing so, put a couple tablespoons of hot water in each jar, put the lid back on, shake like a motherfucker and pour into the pan.
- Add all the veggies at once, because fuck it.
- Add the spices and shit.
- Cover and cook on medium-low for … I don’t know, 20-30 minutes? Put this time to good use by boiling noodles, grating mozza and mixing the eggs with the Ricotta. Stir the goop every once in a while because you have opposable thumbs and can multi-task.
Putting It Together
No one likes burnt fingers, so do this thing. What thing? Don’t just dump the noodles into a colander. Instead, drain the hot water out of the pot and add in cold water and let sit for a few minutes. Otherwise: hot noodles = ouchie fingers.
Then use that motherfucking colander like a motherfucker. Because I haven’t written motherfucker enough yet.
This is only two-layer lasagna. Why? Because you don’t need three, so stop layer shaming. Two thick layers are good. So, remember your noodle math and make sure you boiled the right amount.
Put down a layer of the beef-sauce-vegetable goop on the bottom of the pan. Use half of it. Duh.
With a spatula, add a smooth layer of all of the Ricotta-egg mix. Sprinkle on about one-quarter of the mozza, because why the fuck not?
Add a layer of noodles.
Add other half of beef-sauce-veggie goop.
‘Nother layer of noodles.
Mozza that top like a motherfucker.
Parmesan that shit.
Cover with some tin foil, not too tight.
Bake at 425 for 40 minutes. Remove foil. Bake another 20 minutes. Don’t forget to throw that garlic bread in there for the last 10. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Serves: More friends than you got.
Important! Make sure you have a deep enough baking pan. Because if that shit boils over you’re gonna set off every motherfucking smoke alarm in the house, and smoked lasagna is not nearly as good as smoked salmon. If you do not have a deep enough pan, then be sure to bitch about your lack of a deep pan every time your best friend is in proximity. Then, one day, if that friend is actually a good friend, he (or she) will get you the motherfucker of all lasagna pans. We’re talking cast iron club a full-grown seal to death with this bad boy. Hell, you could club Heidi’s ex-husband Seal to death with it.
This is where shit gets weird.
I have no idea why this happens, but it has been agreed upon by many that it is so.
Freezing makes it better.
I know, right?
I’ve made these lasagnas in advance, and rather than baking them I’ve covered them and put them in the freezer for a couple of weeks, then thawed them out and baked as usual.
And it’s better. I have no idea why. There’s some weird lasagna-freezer Twilight Zone shit going on in there.
It’s just better.
I mean, the unfrozen is still pretty awesome; so one idea is to use two smaller pans, make some for tonight, and freeze the other pan for another night so you can see for yourself.
Serve with vodka.
James S. Fell is an internationally syndicated fitness columnist for the Chicago Tribune and author of Lose it Right: A Brutally Honest 3-Stage Program to Help You Get Fit and Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind, published by Random House Canada. He also interviews celebrities about their fitness stories for the Los Angeles Times, and is head fitness columnist for AskMen.com and a regular contributor to Men’s Health.