Lasagna

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I have a love/hate relationship with lasagna (or at least I did before finding this recipe).  If I’m hungry enough, I really like it (even store-bought versions), but a bad experience years ago has kept it from being on my regular meal rotation.  One of my first dinner parties at my house encouraged me to find a meal that would feed 10ish people, and I knew it was time to find a good lasanga recipe!  My side of the family was visiting, so I was able to use some spicy sausage, as well as have red pepper flakes available on the table! 🙂    It took a little work, but was well worth it… and I’m reminded that I need to make this again!

World’s Best Lasagna

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (or spicy!)
  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (I used minced)
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 oz) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 tbs chopped parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned.  Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water.  Season with sugar, basil, gennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tbs salt, pepper, and 2 tbs parsley.  Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain noodles and rinse with cold water.  In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parlsey, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.  Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce.  Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture.  Top with a third of mizzarella cheese slices.  Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.  Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.  Cover with foil.  Note: to prevent sticking, spray the foil with cooking spray… or make sure it doesn’t touch the cheese!

Bake for 25 minutes in preheated oven.  Remove foil, and bake for an additional 25 minutes.  Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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