Thursday, October 1, 2009

Home Baked Lasagna

Well it looks like fall is here. We've had 30-40 mile and hour winds for several days now. I thought I should make something warm, filling and cheesy for dinner tonight. My family came in cold and cranky this dish had them smiling again. I added about 6 slices of provolone cheese. I freeze any leftovers for enjoying sometime when I am too lazy to cook. The sauce may also be served over other kinds of noodles. This makes enough for about 9-12 people.

1 lb 85% ground beef
3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage
1/2 medium onion, minced
4 T chopped fresh parsley 
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-15 oz can tomato sauce
2-6oz cans tomato paste
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1or 2-4 oz cans sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/2-3/4 c water
2 T white sugar
1 1/2 t dried basil
1 t Italian seasoning
1 T salt
1/2 t fennel seeds
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes
12 lasagna noodles
1 lb ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/2 t salt
3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

In a large Dutch oven brown the sausage and ground beef. Add the onions and garlic cook until onion is translucent. Stir in the tomato sauce, water (I use the liquid from the can of mushrooms), crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, mushrooms, sugar, dried basil, Italian seasonings, 1 tablespoon of salt, freshly ground pepper and about half the parsley. Bring the sauce to a slow simmer cover and cook for about 1 1/2-2 hours. Stir the sauce about every 15-30 minutes to make sure it is not too thick or sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add water as needed for desired thickness.

In another large pot bring salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in the boiling water for about 8-10 minutes. Drain the noodles, and rinse with cool water. In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with the 1/2 teaspoon salt, egg and the rest of the parsley.

Preheat the oven to 375*F.

Assemble the lasagna by spreading about 1 1/2-2 cups of meat sauce on the bottom of a deep 9"x13" baking dish. Lay 3-4 noodles over the sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top the mixture with about 1/3 of the Mozzarella cheese. Spoon another 1 1/2 cups of sauce over the cheese. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Layer again with noodles and repeat layering. Top with remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Cover dish with foil that has been coated with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes with the foil on. Remove the foil and cook and additional 25 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before serving.