Lasagna sounds so difficult to make. It's one of those meals you think "I could NEVER make that!" However, lasagna is very easy to make, and only requires about 30-40 minutes of prep before it's ready to slide into the oven. This lasagna recipe is AMAZING. It has over 6000 reviews on allrecipes and has a five star rating. It's one of my husbands favorite meals ever! When I made this there was actually enough that I made two separate foil pans. One I put away for the freezer, the other we had that night. Ok, here we go!
Fairly easy to find, normal ingredients. The things you'll need are: sweet italian sausage (or italian sausage), ground beef, onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, sugar, basil leaves, fennel seeds, italian seasoning, salt, pepper, parsley (optional), noodles, ricotta, egg, mozzarella, and parmesan. Large list, but so worth it.
First you want to brown your sausage, beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until browned. TIP: to get fairly fine hamburger and/or sausage while cooking I suggest using a sauce pan vs a saute pan. Put your meat in and stir it every 5 or so minutes until fully cooked. Stirring it gives it a nice non-chunky texture.
Once the meat is browned, add in your tomato products, 1/2 cup of water, sugar, basil, fennel, italian seasoning salt, pepper, and parsley. Let this simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
REMINDER: I think a lot of times you can substitute seasonings. For example you could use all italian seasoning if you didn't have basil. However, DO NOT leave out the fennel unless you hate it. Fennel is a very pronounced flavor in this dish, and would be lacking if it was left out!
Put your ricotta, egg and some salt together in a bowl and...
TIP: Room temperature ricotta and egg will help the ricotta smear onto the noodles easier.
Get ready to assemble! It makes it easier to have everything at hand, and ready to go.
REMINDER: If you get the layers wrong, or it gets sloppy, don't stress. It make look like a mess, but it will still taste like heaven!
You are going to layer your ingredients. First put some sauce down.
Next is time for noodles! The odd colors are what happens as they get a little dry.
Smear on your ricotta, top with a layer of mozzarella cheese slices.
Cover with foil, and bake. Be prepared for pure bliss!
World's Best Lasagna Recipe
by Johnchandler at allrecipes.com
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
All credit for this amazing recipe goes here.