Wednesday, March 9, 2016

World’s Best Lasagna

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage   *   1 lb. lean ground beef   *   1 egg
 1 cup chopped onion   *   2 cloves garlic, minced  
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes    *    2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 oz) cans tomato sauce    *    ½ cup water    *    2 Tbsp. sugar
    1½ tsp. dried basil   *   ½ tsp. fennel seeds    *    1 tsp. salt   
1 tsp. Italian seasoning    *   ½ tsp black pepper   *   12 lasagna noodles   
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley    *    32 oz. ricotta cheese  
1-1½ lb. Mozzarella cheese, shredded    *    1 lb. 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 the mixture with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and 2 Tbsp. of parsley.
Cover and simmer for about 1 ½ 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.  To keep noodles from sticking together, lay noodles out between parchment papers on a cookie sheet.
In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg and remaining parsley. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
To assemble the lasagna, spread 1 ½ cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture.  Top with mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  Cover with foil. To prevent the sticking to the top layer of cheese, either spray the foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil doesn’t touch. Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 25 minutes.  Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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