Lasagna

I have had my share of missteps while attempting to make the perfect lasagna. It seems so easy right? Just layer a ton of ingredients into a pan and bake it, and out comes oozy, cheesy, decadent Italian-Americana on a plate, right? Not for me! I have made too-dry lasagna, too-soggy lasagna, noodles undercooked on the sides and can’t cut them lasagna (that was on a Christmas Eve–I made them again), overflows into the oven and burns lasagna, takes all day and just tastes ok lasagna, and then I finally had a day when I made it just right. I took it out of the oven, let it sit for just a few moments, sliced into it, and there it was! Savory and flavorful, cheesy but not obscenely cheesy, with enough texture to hold its shape, I give this recipe to you and say, enjoy! It took many trays of disappointment for me to get here!

Lasagna

 

Lasagna Steps

Lasagna
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Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-10 servings
This classic lasagna recipe will give you a delicious main dish to serve to family, company or bring to any potluck.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, small diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lasagna noodles (Your choice: No boil or traditional—I use 1 box of Barilla Oven-Ready no-boil noodles)
  • Fresh basil
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ pound mozzarella cheese, sliced (or you can get shredded of course, I just love how it turns out using the slices. Sargento sells a sliced mozzarella, or you can get a block and slice it up. You don’t have to buy the balls of mozzarella in the fancy cheese section.)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (NOT that green can stuff—real grated or shredded Parmesan.)
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, let it cook for a moment, and then add both cans of crushed tomatoes. Season with sugar, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  3. Simmer, covered, for about 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning and then shower with torn fresh basil.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, more basil, and ½ teaspoon salt.
  5. If using traditional dry noodles, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 minutes or so, until firm but cooked. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. If using fresh lasagna noodles, do this same process but only cook for 2-3 minutes. If using no-boil noodles, skip this step.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  7. To assemble, spread 1½ cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange noodles over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1½ cups more meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. (You may have a little extra sauce, save to offer guests on the side.) Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and cover. I would also put the whole thing on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving to let it set up. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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