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1 Best Lasagna on Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:36 pm


In our house, cold weather = lasagna!  Indeed, in many families, lasagna is even considered a must-have on the table during holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas. It's a hearty, cheesy, belly-warming dish that provides the cook many opportunities for creativity and improvisation. Most recipes call for using one type of meat - beef - as the main ingredient; however, using only ground beef can render the dish too bland, and relying solely on Italian sausage can overpower it. By using the flavor profile of both, however, you'll end up with an unique balance that is just right. ..

Lasagna Recipe

   1lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
   3/4 lb lean ground beef
   1/2 cup minced yellow onion
   2 cloves garlic, minced
   28oz crushed tomatoes no salt added
   12oz tomato paste
   13oz tomato sauce
   1/2 cup water
   2 tablespoons sugar
   1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
   1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
   1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
   1 tablespooon salt
   1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
   4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
   12 lasagna noodles
   16oz ricotta cheese
   1 egg
   1/2 teaspoon salt
   3/4lb mozzarella cheese, sliced
   3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

   In a Dutch oven, cook the sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until the meat is well browned.
   Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water.
   Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons parsley.
   Let the mixture simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, covered, stirring occasionally.
   Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to a boil.
   Cook noodles in the boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes.
   Drain and rinse the noodles.
   In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
   Preheat the oven to 375F
   In a 9"x13" baking dish, spread 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce on the bottom. Arrange half the noodles lengthwise over the meat sauce. Spread half the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles, then add a third of the mozzarella cheese slices. Top with another 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce, then add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat this process with the remaining ingredients, then top it all with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
   Cover with foil, then bake for 25 minutes.
   Remove the foil, then bake an additional 25 minutes.
   Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

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