Before we were married, Nick and I lived in different states, and we spent every Friday traveling I-80 between State College and Hoboken. Let me tell you that there's no better greeting after a long drive than the sweet and spicy aroma of simmering meat sauce.
Nick first treated me to this hearty lasagna one Friday evening in Hoboken, and we have made it many, many times since. It’s easily consumed in its entirety by a family, or it can be divided between two 9x9 foil baking dishes and stored in the freezer.
If you take the freezer route, assemble the layers, cover tightly, freeze, and bake an additional 15 minutes. Enjoy!
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
- 3/4 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 – 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 – 6 oz cans tomato paste
- 2 – 6.5 oz cans canned tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- fresh basil
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 4 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 lb sliced mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large pot, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, 1 Tbsp salt, pepper, and 2 Tbsp parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
In a separate large pot, bring 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 tsp salt.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole 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.
(Adapted from Allrecipes.com)