Lasagna from Scratch
This is a go to dish that's delicious, serves a bunch, is made ahead, and freezes well. It's full of flavor and the only recipe I use. Serve with the Salad Plate Buffet, Italian Bread, and Tiramisu and bring a little Italy to your table. Make it the night before and just slip it into the oven when you get home or before guests arrive. It's always good and there's no fuss in the kitchen, just a wonderful aroma seeping from the oven. Buon Appetito
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 pound ground beef
3/4 – 1 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5-ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 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, fennel seeds, cayenne, oregano, sage, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
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.
To assemble, spread 1-1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 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 - 30 minutes or until cheese is golden and lasagna. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.