Classic Lasgna - Detail - ©

Classic Dishes: Lasagna

I love Lasagna and make it a number of ways, depending on whether I’m in a White Sauce/Spinach mood or an all-Meat and Cheese mood. But this recipe is a classic and features all the classic ingredients. It takes a little time and effort but it’s worth it, and you’ll get at least two meals out of it…

Classic Lasgna - © Johnsonville.comClassic Lasagna. It takes some time and effort, but it’s worth it!

What you need….

9 Lasagna Noodles (no-boil type)
1 lb. / 500 g Italian Sausage
1 lb. / 500 g Ground Veal or Beef
1 medium Onion, diced
3-5 cloves Garlic, minced pr pressed
4 cups / 1 L Crushed Tomatoes
2 small cans (12 oz. / 350 ml) Tomato Paste
2/3 cup / 175 ml Water
2 tbsp. / 30 ml Sugar
1 bunch Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
2 tsp. / 10 ml dried Basil
1 tsp. / 5 ml dried Oregano
1 tsp. / 5 ml Fennel Seed
1 tsp. / 5 ml Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
1 tsp. / 5 ml Salt
1/2 tsp. / 2.5 ml ground Black Pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
15 oz. / 425 ml Ricotta Cheese
5 cups / 1.25 l shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 cup / 250 ml grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese

Yes, it’s rich and it isn’t exactly inexpensive to make, but it’s worth it!

What you do…

Pre-heat your oven to 375 F.

In a deep frying pan or dutch oven, brown the meats, stirring to break up into a scramble.

Add the Tomatoes, Tomato Paste, Water, Sugar, 1/2 cup / 125 ml Parsley, Basil, Oregano, Fennel, Salt and Pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes, until the liquid comes together to form a sauce.

Mix together the Ricotta, Egg and remainder of Parsley in a large bowl.

Place a cup of Sauce into the bottom of a standard Lasagna casserole dish. This is the secret to ensuring the Lasagna doesn’t stick. On top of the Sauce, lay three Lasagna Noodles. I use the no-cook kind. They’re faster and easier than the regular ones, and they never break on you.

On the noodles place one third of the Ricotta mixture topped by one third of the Mozzarella, then  one third of the Meat Sauce. Top the Meat sauce with three more Noodles.

Repeat the layering process with another three Noodles, and another third of the Ricotta, another third of the Mozzarella and another third of the Meat Sauce. Top with the last three Noodles.

Place the remainder of the Ricotta mixture on the Noodles and top with the remainder of the Mozzarella followed by the remaining third of the Meat Sauce.

On top of this last layer, Sprinkle the Parmesan/Romano.

Bake covered at 375 F for 25-30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 25-30 minutes, until the Cheese is melted and browning on top, and the casserole is bubbly at the edges.

Let stand for 15-20 minutes to let the casserole set, so you can serve it without the layers falling apart.

Serve with Garlic Bread and a Side Salad

Two for one…

You’ll probably get two meals for four diners each out of this casserole. And you can freeze it in portions for easier serving down the road.

Mangia! Mangia!

~ Maggie J.