The Ultimate Lasagna!
Pan size: 12″ X 15″ X 3.5″ Cooking Temperature: 375 degrees Cooking Time: 45-60 minutes Serves between 10 to 12 healthy servings.
- 2 pounds of high-quality Sweet Italian Sausage.
- 2 pounds of lean ground beef (I prefer ground sirloin 93/7).
- 1 large Onion, minced.
- 1/4 cup of Extra-virgin Olive Oil, divided.
- 1 pound of chopped white mushrooms, sauteed and drained.
- 4 Cloves of garlic, minced.
- 1 large 105 oz can of Tomato Sauce, or 7 16oz cans.
- 1 6oz can of Tomato Paste.
- 2 Tablespoons of dried Basil leaves.
- 1 teaspoon of Fennel Seeds, crushed.
- 1 Tablespoon of Italian Seasoning.
- 2 Tablespoons of Salt, divided.
- 1 teaspoon of crushed Red Pepper Seeds.
- 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground Pepper.
- 1 cup of chopped fresh Parsley, divided.
- 21 lasagna noodles
- 1 32oz Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese.
- 2 Eggs.
- 1 pound of sliced Baby Mozzarella.
- 2 pounds of shredded Mozzarella Cheese.
- 1 1/2 pounds of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 1/2 pounds of sliced Provolone Cheese.
The Lasagna Sauce
In a large stockpot, add 3 Tablespoon of Olive Oil and heat to medium-high. Once hot, add onions and saute 3 minutes. Add sausage, ground beef, mushrooms, and garlic to the pot and reduce to medium heat until meat is well cooked. Break up all chunks of meat to an even consistency. Drain any excess juice from the mixture and discard. Once complete, stir in Tomato Sauce and combine. Now add Tomato Paste, Dried Basil, crushed Fennel, Italian Seasoning, Salt, Crushed Red Pepper, 1/2 cup of fresh Parsley to the mixture. Combine and Simmer, covered for about 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
In a large pot, add 1 Tablespoon of Salt and 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil to a rapid boiling water. Add Lasagna noodles to the boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes. Drain noodles, separate and rinse in cold water. Leave the noodles to soak in cold water until ready to assemble.
The Ricotta Mixture
In a medium bowl, add two eggs and whisk to combine. Add Ricotta Cheese and 1/2 cup of Parsley and combine. Set aside until ready to assemble.
Using a brush, coat the bottom and all sides of the 12 x 15 pan with Olive Oil. Spread about 2 cups of sauce into the bottom of the pan. Arrange 7 strips of noodles, each overlapping the other widthwise over the sauce. Using 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, spread an even layer covering all the noodles. Spread about 1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese over the ricotta mixture. Spread 1/2 pound of parmesan cheese over the mozzarella cheese and top with 12 slices of provolone cheese. Cover with 2 cups of sauce and add another 7 strips of noodles to cover the sauce. Repeat the process, using 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, spread an even layer covering all the noodles. Spread about 1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese over the ricotta mixture. Spread 1/2 pound of parmesan cheese over the mozzarella cheese and top with 12 slices of provolone cheese. Cover with 2 cups of sauce and add another 7 strips of noodles to cover the sauce. The final layer will also have a thin layer of sauce over the noodles. Now add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese over the sauce and cover with 12 slices of provolone cheese. Cover provolone cheese with 1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese. Now divide the baby mozzarella into 12 1/2″ disk and dot the top of the lasagna.
Bake on the center rack of the oven uncovered at 375 degrees. Tent if the mozzarella becomes too dark. Let stand 30-45 minutes before serving… it’s even better the next day! Garnish with fresh Basil. Bon Appetit!!!