I was craving something heavy, gooey, and cheesy on the weekend, and what else better satisfies all those things than lasagna? Other kinds of pasta just doesn’t cut it, it had to be lasagna; the classic Italian casserole dish consisting of layers upon layers of pasta, melt-in-your-mouth cheesy goodness, heavy meat sauce, served hot, with a light side salad…YUMMY! This image (pretty close to the picture on the left) was already forming in my head and making me drool way before the weekend.
But my, oh my, making lasagna takes sooo long. I’ve made lasagna using this exact same recipe from allrecipes.com a few years ago, but I failed to remember just how extensive the preparation was. It also took me longer this time because of the picture taking – the wiping of hands, picking up my camera, and being an SLR newbie, I had to take many pictures to ensure that they were decent, then wash hands again, etc. But I gotta say, it was all worth it, the whole 2.5 hours of it! The lasagna turned out delicious! Of course not so great that I’m claiming it to be the World’s Best Lasagna (I’m a humble person), that is merely the name of the recipe I used.
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 2 (6.5 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 16 ounce ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 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, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons 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 parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups fo 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 mozzarella 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 cheese. Cover with foil to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.