Lasagna day is always a joyous occasion to share with friends and family. The aroma fills the house, making it hard for anyone who's not planning on being there at dinnertime to wait until then before diving into mouth-watering layers of pasta, béchamel sauce, tomato sauce and cheese!
- Difficulty: Medium
- Time of Preparation: 1 hour 20 mins
- Time of Cooking: 1 hour
- Doses for: 6 people
- Cost: $$
- 1 pound dry lasagna noodles
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 can Italian whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage links, removed from casing and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry red wine
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 ricotta cheese, broken apart with a fork
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
- salt and black pepper
Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the lasagna noodles, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked, but is still firm to the bite. Drain well in a colander. Drizzle the cooked noodles with about olive oil to prevent them from sticking together.
Place the tomatoes, into the work bowl of a food processor and pulse to puree. Set the tomatoes aside. Place the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, sage, and rosemary into the food processor, and pulse until the vegetables are minced.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat and add the minced vegetables. Reduce heat to medium, and cook and stir until the vegetables have softened and are just beginning to brown. Stir in the ground beef and Italian sausage, breaking it apart into crumbles as it cooks, about 10 minutes. When the meat is no longer pink, stir in the flour, and cook a couple of minutes. Pour in the red wine, bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook, until the wine has reduced, about 15 minutes. Pour the pureed tomatoes, cream, Parmesan cheese, and cinnamon into the meat sauce, bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover the pan. Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, eggs, shredded mozzarella, salt and pepper. Save 1/4 pound of mozzarella for topping.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F degrees . Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with olive oil.
To make the lasagna, lay about 4 noodles in the bottom of the prepared baking dish, running the long way, and overlap them to cover the bottom completely. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles, and top with 1/4 of the meat sauce. Top with a second layer of noodles. Top the second layer with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1/4 of the meat sauce as before; make a 3rd layer of noodles, the last third of the ricotta mixture, and 1/4 of the meat sauce. Place one more layer of noodles, and top with the last 1/4 of the meat sauce. Sprinkle the reserved mozzarella cheese over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, to 55 minutes.