Thursday, October 20, 2011

The best damn lasagna you'll ever have.

I’m pretty proud of myself for this one. I’ve changed the recipe a bit but feel free to do as you wish. My step dad and his family came to Canada straight from Italy (northern Italy) and growing up I would beg her to send us her lasagna (we lived in Vancouver) from Mackenzie (a place in Canada, very cold). She couldn’t, but when she would come she would bring some and we would devour it. I’ve never had more amazing lasagna in my life. This isn’t her recipe, but I have to say it comes pretty close to the real thing and it’s not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Doing the layers is actually kind of… dare I say it? Fun. Oh and you’ll see in my pic I used fresh mozzarella on the top, which I would use the sliced next time.

Post pics if you make it and tell me how it goes!

1 lb sweet Italian sausage (I actually didn’t add this)
3/4 pound lean ground beef (I used lean ground turkey)
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed (The trader joes ones that are frozen really help)
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce (I used the TJ’s Rustico Pomodoro sauce)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (I didn’t have these in my pantry so I didn’t use them)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I used dried and it worked great)
12 lasagna noodles (For this I used the TJ’s no-boil lasagna noodles, made it much easier)
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced (Shredded works too)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a Dutch oven, (or for me a pot with a good lid) cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned or cooked. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds(if you have them), Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. (I forgot to stir and it wasn’t a problem, they simmered nicely!)
***If using normal lasagna noodles***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.
In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)…
To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. *Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for *25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional *25 minutes. Cool for *15 minutes before serving.