4 cloves garlic; diced
1 yellow onion; diced
1 pound hamburger; browned
1/2 pound sweet italian sausage; browned
1/2 pound hot italian sausage
28 oz crushed tomatoes
16 oz tomato sauce
12 oz tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 T sugar
2 tsp basil leaves; dried
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 1/2 tsp italian seasoning; dried
1 T salt
1/2 tsp pepper
32 oz ricotta; whole milk
8 oz cottage cheese; 2 % small curds
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella; shredded
1-2 T basil; fresh
1-2 T parsley; fresh
***1-2 cups mozzarella cheese; shredded (don’t use until assembling lasagna)
***12-16 slices mozzarella cheese; used to top the lasagna before baking
1 pkg lasagna noodles
1. Place a dutch oven over medium heat with a little olive oil in the pan
2. Chop your onion and garlic, add to your dutch oven. If your pot is too hot turn down your heat so you garlic doesn’t burn. I also like to add a pinch of salt to help sweat my onions out.
3. After about 5 minutes of cooking go ahead and add your hamburger, sweet italian sausage, and hot italian sausage.
***TIP: if you can’t find ground sweet or hot italian sausage at your grocery store, just buy the links and take the casing off.
4. Brown your meat and strain off excess grease after it has finished browning.
5. To your meat add your sugar, dried basil, fennel seed, dried italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
6. Cook these into the meat for about 1-2 minutes
7. After you added your seasonings it is time to add your crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water. Give the sauce mixture a good mix and let it simmer for 90 minutes.
***TIP: make sure you place a lid over your pot otherwise your wall will have sauce splatters everywhere after your 90 minutes of simmering.
1. While your sauce is simmering away you can pre make your ricotta cheese mixture
2. Place your ricotta, cottage cheese, grated parmesan, shredded mozzarella, 2 eggs, fresh basil, and fresh parsley into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly
3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to build your lasagna
1. In a large pasta pot add a palmful of salt and hot water to your pot. (This seasons your pasta)
2. Place your pasta pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it has hit a boil add your pasta and cook according to box instructions
3. I normally cook my pasta about 7 minutes. After 7 minutes I remove the pasta from the hot water into a bowl of cold water, allowing me to handle the pasta without burning my fingers.
TIME TO BUILD YOUR LASAGNA….
1. Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees F
2. Place 1 cup of your meat sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. This keeps your pasta from sticking to your pan after you remove your lasagna from the oven.
3. Now place your noodles into the pan. I normally overlap my noodles a little so all my layers stay in place while baking. Five noodles lengthwise and two noodles widthwise. (See pictures for description)
4. After your noodles are placed layer your ricotta mixture on the noodles. You will have three total layers of the ricotta mixture so make sure you don’t over use it and reserve some for other layers. ***TIP: I like to dollop the mixture over the noodles and then spread, I find that easier to spread over the pasta.
5. After you do your ricotta mixture sprinkle a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese over the ricotta, simply because I like it extra cheesy.
6. Now repeat. Ladle about 2 cups of your meat sauce over your ricotta mixture. Then place your noodles over the meat sauce. Finally back to your ricotta mixture and mozzarella.
7. When building your lasagna you do three layers (meat sauce, noodles, ricotta/mozzarella; meat sauce, noodles, ricotta/mozzarella; meat sauce, noodles, ricotta/mozzarella; meat sauce/MOZZARELLA SLICES)
8. If you didn’t catch my capitalized mozzarella slices that is what you use to top your lasagna vs the mozzarella shreds to allow even cheese melting while baking the lasagna
9. Cover your lasagna after you have assembled it with foil and bake for 25 minutes
10. After 25 minutes of baking removed your foil and bake for another 25 minutes.
11. Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes, it will help the lasagna stay together when removing from the pan.
12. Serve up to your family and expect leftovers!!!!