Lasagna

This is a traditional lasagna recipe that I have developed over the years, drawing from many recipes in cookbooks and magazines and making changes until I got it just the way I like it.

1-28 oz can diced tomatoes (I use Hunts)
1-12 oz can tomato paste (I use Hunts here too)
1 c diced onion
1/2 c each diced carrots and celery
1 TB finely minced garlic
1 tsp sugar
1/2 TB salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 lb ground chuck
2 spicy Italian sausages
1 lb ricotta
1 lb whole or part skim milk mozzarella (do not use the pre-shredded pizza cheese)
1/3 c each grated parmesan, romano, and asiago, mixed
1 lb lasagna noodles (I use DeCecco’s short, wide noodles).
A 9x13x2 inch baking pan.

In a large sauce pan, place the sausages and 1/2 c water. Cook over medium heat until the water is evaporated and  the sausage is browned and cooked through. Remove sausage, let cool, and slice thinly.

Add 2 TB olive oil to the pan and sauté the onion, celery, and carrot for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for a couple minutes more. Add the ground chuck, raise the heat, and cook, stirring, until the meat has lost its pink color. At this time you may want to check to see how much fat the meat has produced and, if desired, remove it using a bulb baster. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, salt, sugar. and Italian seasoning. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have another pot of cold water ready. Put 4 noodles in the pan and cook for half the recommended time (4 minutes for the DeCecco). Remove to the cold water, keeping noodles flat, then place cooled noodles on a towel until you need them. Repeat until all the noodles are partially cooked.

Put a layer of sauce in the bottom of the baking pan, followed by a layer of noodles. Cut noodles as needed to fit – do not overlap. Then repeat layers of sauce/sausage/ricotta/mozzarella/grated cheese and then noodles again. Do not worry about spreading the ricotta in a perfectly even layer. You can scatter tablespoon-size blobs and it will spread out during cooking. Finish with a layer of noodles followed by sauce, mozzarella, and grated cheeses. I always seem to have 4-5 noodles left over, and save them for soup.

Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes, until lasagna is bubbling around the edges and browned on top. If the top seems to be browning too fast, cover with foil. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

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One Comment on “Lasagna”

  1. Laura Cartier Says:

    Just realized there are links to other recipes at the top! DUH!


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