Wednesday, August 27

SIMPLY THE BEST LASAGNA

Not often do I come across a recipe that is this enticing. However when I do, I know it's a recipe that I will keep forever and continue to prepare for years to come. So don't immediately turn away from the 21 ingredients in this lasagna
recipe. It may look intimidating, but au contraire my friends! This lasagna recipe is simply one of the easiest and most fool-proof methods of cooking this classic Italian dish. All of the 21 ingredients come straight from your local grocery store, or you may already have most of them in your pantry, and there is no special equipment required. Just perfect for the average home cook. If you can read a recipe and open a can, you can prepare SIMPLY THE BEST LASAGNA for your family. And they will swear it came straight from a restaurant. Enjoy!

SIMPLY THE BEST LASAGNA
Quite simply, this is the only lasagna recipe you will ever need! Topped with temptingly 
melted mozzarella and layers of rich marinara and meat sauce. It is for sure a crowd-pleaser!
MAKES 12 SERVINGS
Easily doubled. Easily halved.
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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 3/4 pound Lean Ground Beef
  • 1/2 cup Finely Chopped Yellow Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can Crushed Tomatoes, I used Cento
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans Tomato Paste, I used Cento
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans Tomato Sauce, I used Cento
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Basil, or 3 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, finely chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Italian Parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 12 Lasagna Noodles
  • 16 ounce container Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 pound Mozzarella Cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

WHAT TO DO
  • In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Drain off excess grease. Return to heat and 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.
  • For filling, in a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside. 
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles. 
  • 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. 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 non-stick foil to prevent cheese from sticking during cooking.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
For a quick weeknight meal: I would think you could easily throw all of the ingredients for the meat sauce into a Crock Pot before you leave for work. Cover and turn on low. When you come in combine the ricotta cheese mixture and cook lasagna noodles. Layer everything and bake. Or prepare your lasagna the night before, layering it in casserole dish, cover and place in fridge - don't bake. Pop it in the oven the next day when you come in from work and voila! A delectable quick home-cooked meal on a weeknight!




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