My recipe is a combination of 3 recipes I've made throughout the years, and is by far, the best! With good texture throughout, nice balance of flavors, not soupy.
Bear in mind, using quality ingredients makes a huge difference in the product also.(:
The sauce portion of the recipe may be made a day ahead of time if more convenient, it also allows the flavors to meld. It also makes more sauce than needed for the lasagna I made pizzas with it a couple days later, fantastic! So here we go!
1 lb sweet Italian sausage
3/4 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 0z) can tomato sauce
1 (8 0z) can tomato sauce
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
1/4 cup of water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp Italian seasoning (or 1/4 tsp ea: oregano, rosemary, marjoram, thyme...sage)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp parsley flakes
32 oz Ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp oregano
12 Lasagna noodles
3/4 lb mozzarella cheese (in addition to the 1 cup above)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (in addition to the 1/2 cup above)
In a large Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, & garlic over medium heat until well browned. Drain any excess fat. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, & water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seed, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, & parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. (This is a very thick sauce)
Meantime, prepare your noodles: using a large flat pan (with sides), lay the noodles in the pan, pour in enough very hot water to cover noodles; let sit 20-30 minutes. Check halfway through to make sure they don't stick together.
In a large bowl, combine the Ricotta, egg, 1 c mozzarella cheese, 1/2 c Parmesan cheese & oregano. Mix well, set aside.
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 the meat sauce. Spread with one half the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over the mozzarella sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Cover with foil, to prevent cheese from sticking to foil spray with cooking spray first.
Bake covered, for 25 minutes. Remove foil, & bake an additional 25 minutes. Remove from oven; allow 15 minutes for the Lasagna to cool and set before cutting/serving.
Serve with salad and garlic bread, enjoy!