I believe this was only the second time making lasagna in my adult life. I am kind of weird about cheese and do not care for ricotta, which has caused me to shy away from lasagna. My inlaws made it when they were visiting a few months ago and I actually really enjoyed it, ricotta and all! So I gave it a try and it came out pretty good. I served it with garlic bread and a Caesar salad.
– 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
– 1/2 lb. ground beef
– 1/2 cup onion, diced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
– 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
– 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 tsp. sugar
– basil, oregano, onion powder, parsley seasoned to taste
– 12 lasagna noodles (I used the no-boil)
– 1 (16 oz) container or ricotta
– 1 egg
– 3/4 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
– 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
In a large pan with tall sides, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until cooked through and browned. Drain the fat and return to pan.
To the meat, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Stir everything together.
Next add the sugar, basil, oregano, onion powder, parsley, taste and adjust accordingly. Stir to combine.
Simmer, covered for at least 1 1/2 hours or longer.
In a medium sized bowl, combine ricotta, egg, a bit more parsley, and a pinch of salt.
Preheat oven to 375F.
To assemble: grab a 9×13-inch pan and spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place a single layer of noodles on top of the sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta mixture, and top with 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat layers and add Parmesan to the top layer.
Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Place a cookie sheet on the rack below to catch any drippings that may fall. Remove foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before serving.