I can tell you how I make lasagna, it's pretty easy and you can customize it to your tastes. I don't care for the sausage so much either, so I use ground beef. One pound would probably be fine for your smaller family. I brown that with onion and garlic and Italian seasoning. I make the filling with cottage cheese, to my family it's not that much different than ricotta. If you prefer the ricotta, great. For your size, one 16 oz tub should be good. I mix that with a pound of thawed chopped spinach (you can leave that out if you don't like spinach), an egg, some Parmesan cheese, more Italian seasoning and a pinch of nutmeg, that makes the filling. Sometimes I make my own sauce, but if I'm pressed for time I just use jarred sauce. Our personal preference is for a layer of mushrooms also, but I understand not everyone likes shrooms as much as we do . I don't pre-cook my noodles, I use the oven ready noodles and lots of sauce and it saves that time and working with hot noodles.
I just make up my layers as I go. It's something like this usually...sauce, noodles, meat, cheese, sauce, noodles, mushrooms, cheese, sauce, noodles, filling, sauce, noodles, sauce and cheese. The cheese is shredded mozzarella, and then I top it with some shredded parm also--we like a lot of cheese . Just be sure you have lots of sauce, that moisture is what cooks your noodles. Cover and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes until the noodles are tender.
never, ever make just one lasagna! Once you have all the ingredients to assemble one, you might as well make a second one and put it in the freezer.
Mine always seem to stick up over the top of the pan, so when I cover with foil I spray the foil with Pam so the cheese doesn't stick.
I totally hear you about eating the entire pan! I've started making two for each meal. My husband and two boys are low carb, one boy and I eat carbs. I make a larger pan without noodles for them, for us carbers I'm down to making it in a little 9x9 pan. That also helps with portion control! Or, if you want to make a larger pan, immediately repackage some for lunches and stick it in the freezer.
Lasagna is very forgiving, and very fluid. And even if it's not perfect, it's still noodles, meat, cheese and tomato sauce. Kind of hard to go wrong with those