Alright folks, it’s time to tackle one of my all time favorite recipes.
I, much like Garfield, LOVE lasagna. A good, traditional, lasagna: noodles, ricotta, a thick ‘n’ hearty HOMEMADE meat sauce, parmesan cheese and of course, plenty of ooey, gooey melty, mozzarella.
Layer upon layer of melted cheese comfort food heaven….this is mine.
I’ve been making this particular lasagna for almost 20 years. The ingredient list may seem daunting, but don’t let it scare you off- if you keep an semi- well stocked pantry and spice cupboard, you will probably have 98% of these ingredients on hand- minus fresh items, but, maybe even those.
The amount of time required is just a part of it. Of course, there are short cuts, but this is not one of those times to use ’em.
Wait for a chill, lazy Sunday, grab yourself a nice glass of wine ( or two), throw on some tunes in the background and get to work, your taste buds, and dinner guests will thank you!
A good ole’ fashion’ lasagna. Warm, melty, cheesy goodness- serve with a nice salad and some bread hot from the oven….oh. my. goodness….. comfort food heaven!
- 1.5 pounds ground beef
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 28 oz can Whole Peeled San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 12–16 oz tomato passata
- 1 c red wine
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp dry basil
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 16 lasagna noodles
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 c grated fresh parmesan cheese, divided
Lets make our sauce first:
- Cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat. Season meat mixture with salt, pepper and a bit of garlic powder *. Cook and stir occasionally until meat is well browned and the fat has mostly cooked off.
- Add wine. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add whole San Marzano tomatoes, tomato paste, passata, brown sugar, the rest of the herbs and spices listed, SAVING 1/2 the fresh parsley for ricotta mixture.
- Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 -2 hours, stirring and breaking up tomatoes occasionally.
- Ricotta Mixture: In a medium size bowl, beat egg lightly. Add ricotta cheese, remaining parsley, 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot a lightly salted water to boil. Cook lasagna noodles until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- To Assemble lasagna, spread about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan. Lay 4 noodles over sauce. Spread with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, then 1/4 remaining sauce, and 1/4 of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Repeat layers 2 more times.
- With the final layer layer of noodles- cover with last bit of sauce and the last of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Spray foil with baking spray and cover lasagna.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, bake an additional 25 minutes.
- Cool 15 minutes prior to cutting and serving.