Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ultimate Lasagna

This is my Ultimate Lasagna.  So if your 80 year old grandmother makes you lasagna for Christmas every year when you visit her in ITALY, please don't dispute the Ultimate part and have her make me some the next time you go. =)  This is meaty, cheesy perfection.  It is bursting with flavor.  My family loves this and everyone gobbles it up every time I make it.  I have some tips for making it more flavorful and easier to make during the week.  Perfect served with French bread and a nice green salad!


1. I like using oven ready noodles, less work.  If you prefer using regular, there is no need to boil the noodles.  Just soak them for 20-30 minutes in very hot tap water.

2. I always make my lasagna the night before.  It allows the flavors to meld and this way there is no need to simmer the sauce for a long time.  If you work it's very hard to have time to put together and cook a lasagna after you get home.  This way it's ready to stick in the oven when you get home.  

3. The combination of ground beef and Sweet Italian sausage makes a huge difference in taste.

4. I use presliced mozzarella cheese (sold in the sliced cheese section of the grocery store), you can also use shredded Italian cheese. You will need a full bag.

So let's get started, you'll be so glad you did!


1 pound ground beef
1 pound Sweet Italian sausage
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can diced tomato, no salt added
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. white sugar
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
8 lasagna noodles
16 ounces Ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces package sliced Mozzarella cheese 


Noodles: If your not using oven ready, prepare noodles. See above tip or cook according to package directions.

In a large dutch oven cook ground beef, sausage, and onions until well browned; drain and return to pan.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, and next 7 ingredients.  Heat through.  This just takes a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, mix ricotta cheese, egg, and Parmesan cheese in a medium bowl.

In the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13 inch pan ladle some two scoops of the sauce.  Then lay 4 lasagna noodles (you will need to break one to fit on the end), 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, 3 slices of the mozzarella cheese, then repeat again, ending with meat mixture.  Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.

Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate until ready to bake.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.  Bake covered for 25 minuted then uncover and bake an additional 20-25 minutes.  


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