Lasagna

03.03.2013

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Ah, homemade lasagna. Is there anything much better? Lasagna noodles piled high and layered full of three kinds of cheese to go along with the perfect blend of meaty and zesty, tomato pasta sauce all loaded with herbs. Lasagna is Italian comfort food at it’s best. To press your fork through all those layers of pasta as the sauce and cheese glides down the slides then it’s all lifted so longingly into your mouth. Bite, after bite, after bite. Each one savored and appreciated. One word, YUM! This lasagna does take a bit of time and effort, but it is most definitely worth it. With flavors this good you’ll have have a hard time stopping at one serving of this tempting lasagna.

I considered making this recipe to be with fresh herbs as I had fresh basil, oregano and parsley on hand and wanted to use it up, but I figured most of you probably don’t keep fresh herbs on hand so I went the simpler version by using dried herbs. If you’d like to, you very well could replace some of the dried herbs with fresh (I’d say triple the amounts if using fresh in place of dried). Also, feel free to add more cheese if you’d like, because really can you have too much cheese when it comes to lasagna =)? For a quick side to serve along this lasagna I’d recommend steamed broccoli with a touch of browned butter and Mizithra cheese or purchase a salad blend and top it with fresh tomato slices and a creamy pesto salad dressing. Enjoy!

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Lasagna

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 12 oz Italian sausage
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 (29 oz) cans tomato puree
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried fennel seeds, crushed*
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 16 oz lasagna noodles
  • 15 oz part-skim Ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 16 oz whole milk mozzarella, shredded (4 cups)
  • 2 oz Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (packed 1/2 cup)
  • 2 oz Romano cheese, finely shredded (packed 1/2 cup), plus more for serving

Directions

  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large enameled cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, crumble beef and sausage into pot, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until browned and cooked through. Remove from heat and drain into a large bowl lined with plenty of paper towels. Pour drained beef and sausage into a food processor and pulse mixture about 10 - 15 seconds until ground into small pieces, set aside.
  • Return pot to medium-high heat, add in remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil. Once oil is hot, add onion and saute until golden, about 2 - 3 minutes, adding garlic during the last 30 seconds of sauteing. Remove from heat and add tomato puree, tomato paste, sugar, basil, crushed fennel seeds, oregano, thyme, marjoram, then season with 1 tsp salt and more to taste and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Return to heat and bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 45 minutes - 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
  • Cook pasta to al dente according to directions listed on package (now is a good time to shred cheese). Drain pasta (do not rinse) and once cool enough to handle, align noodles in a single layer on sheets of wax paper (you can also hang some of them over the colander used to strain pasta). In a mixing bowl using a fork, blend together Ricotta cheese, egg and parsley, set aside. In a mixing bowl or large ziploc bag, toss together mozzarella, Parmesan and Romano cheese, set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To assemble lasagna, evenly spread 1 cup ground beef pasta sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Align 4 - 5** lasagna noodles over sauce. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over lasagna noodle layer (it will be a thin layer) then sprinkle 1/4 of the mozzarela cheese mixture into an even layer. Dollop and spread 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce evenly over cheese, then repeat this layering process 2 more times. Finish top with 1 more layer of 4 - 5 lasagna noodles, then spread 1/2 cup pasta sauce over top of noodles and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese mixture. Tent baking dish with foil (don't allow foil to touch cheese on top. Also if you may want to rest it on a baking sheet if it's looking very full in the baking dish to prevent it from spilling over) and bake in preheated oven 35 minutes, then remove foil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Serve warm garnished with additional Romano cheese and fresh parsley or basil if desired.
  • *To crush fennel seeds - pour them into a ziploc bag, seal bag and crush with the flat side of a meat mallet until well crushed.
  • **Count the lasagna noodles before assembling lasagna. I had 20 noodles so each layer was able to have 5 noodles, but if you only have 16 - 18 you will need to reduce some (or all) of the layers to 4 noodles.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
http://www.cookingclassy.com/lasagna/

19 comments

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress): I love making homemade lasagna, pure comfort food :) Yours is stunning! March 3, 2013 at 7:25am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Kayle! March 3, 2013 at 3:17pm Reply

  • Rachel @ Bakerita: Looks and sounds delicious!! Nothings better than gooey, cheesy lasagna on a cold day :) March 3, 2013 at 5:40pm Reply

  • Becky @ Love to be in the Kitchen: Wow! This looks so amazing! Lasagna is my husband’s favorite food so I definitely need to try this soon! March 3, 2013 at 10:16pm Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: Nope, nothing beats homemade lasagna. It’s my favorite type of comfort food! March 4, 2013 at 12:23am Reply

  • Curry and Comfort: Simply beautiful lasagna! March 4, 2013 at 3:57pm Reply

  • Jackie: I made this today. It is a great recipe,and the entire family cleaned their 1st & 2nd servings! Need I say anymore? March 11, 2013 at 2:08am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Jackie – I’m so glad to hear your family enjoyed this lasagna! Thanks so much for returning to leave a comment! March 11, 2013 at 5:42pm Reply

  • Skyler: Omg Sounds GREAT! Thanks for sharing, my husband is Italian and im sure with this Recipe, He’ll LOVE it! Thank you again March 24, 2013 at 10:01am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you both love it Skyler =)! March 24, 2013 at 6:41pm Reply

  • Back from the Brink and a little Organizin’ Inspiration! |: […] food! What’s the first food that comes to mind when I think Italian? Pasta! Just thought of homemade lasagna makes me hungry. Although it’s a more time consuming recipe, I’ve used it as the anchor of […] April 5, 2013 at 4:53am Reply

  • Cheryl: Your recipes and photography look amazing! I can’t wait to try this recipe! :) April 14, 2013 at 9:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thank you so much Cheryl, that is so nice of you to say! I hope you love this lasagna! April 14, 2013 at 4:59pm Reply

  • Stacie: I’m a really literal person…so am I supposed to mix the cooked meat in with the sauce at some point? Or am I making a layer of meat, noodle, cheese, sauce, then meat-noodle-cheese-sauce again…

    I’m going to make this tomorrow! I’m so excited July 14, 2013 at 12:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Mix into the sauce :). I hope you love it! July 14, 2013 at 8:41pm Reply

  • Stephanie: Hi Jaclyn, I love all your recipes! Everything I’ve made tastes amazing and is always a hit with my fiance. I would love to make this recipe but since it’s just the two of us it possible to split this recipe between two smaller baking dishes and put one in the freezer for a later day? September 26, 2014 at 10:10am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes that should work just fine! I’m so glad you and your fiance have enjoyed the recipes Stephanie! Thanks for letting me know! September 26, 2014 at 9:47pm Reply

  • Jennifer G.: Have you ever made this recipe with no boil lasagne noodles? I have some in my pantry but wondered if this recipe will work with them? September 18, 2015 at 4:32pm Reply

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