Finding Thyme to Cook

Thyme is of the Essence

Lasagna

Lasagna

It was Greek lasagna last time, so it’s time for Lasagna – Italian style!!!  Lasagna was a staple growing up and there are many recipes available.  I believe if you are going to go make lasagna, do it right, which means making your own sauce (preferably ahead of time so the flavors have time to blend).  It means using noodles that you cook and not use right out of the box.  It means using the best ingredients possible, including grating good Mozzarella.  All those things add up to a terrific lasagna and shortcuts equal shortcomings.  It’s not difficult, just requires a little forethought and preparation. This recipe will yield extra sauce, which I like to freeze have it ready for a weekday meal over ravioli.

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons garlic (minced)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (casings removed) I used sweet and hot
  • 2 cans (28 oz) crushed tomatoes with juice
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil (I used 1/4 cup dried basil)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Noodles

  • 10 – 15 lasagna noodles – cook about 7 minutes

Cheese mixture

  • 2 15 oz containers of ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ cups Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 cups Mozzarella Cheese (about 1 ½ lbs)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (unless you are preparing it ahead of time)

Sauce

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook about 12 minutes until soft.

Add ground beef and sausage and saute until cooked through, breaking up meat with back of spoon – about five minutes.

Add remaining “sauce” ingredients.

Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

Noodles

Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place on parchment paper and pat dry.

Cheese Mixture

Combine ricotta, 3/4 cup Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs.

Spread ½ – 3/4 cup sauce on bottom of 13×9 inch lasagna pan.

Place 5-6 noodles (overlapping to fill).

Spread half of ricotta mixture over noodles.

Sprinkle 2 cups of Mozzarella cheese evenly over ricotta.

Spoon 1 ½ – 2 cups sauce over cheese – spreading to cover evenly.

Repeat layering, noodles, ricotta mixture, Mozzarella cheese, and sauce.

On top sprinkle remaining Mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese on top.

You can prepare ahead of time.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and then foil. Refrigerate.

Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 40 minutes.

Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

PRINT RECIPE

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