In Her Kitchen

A Sisters' Recipe Exchange

Lasagna

Posted on | December 20, 2010 | by Lauren | No Comments | Print Recipe

Hey Jennifer,

I tossed together a lasagna for dinner tonight and it was gooey, saucy, cheesy, meaty, melty and DELICIOUS! I have tried a lot of other lasagna recipes and took all the things I love from them and made my own. You should try it as soon as you can. This is a great recipe to make on the weekend because it does take a bit of time but is well worth it! Yum Yum gimme some!

xoxo,
Lauren

Lasagna

Servings: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. ground Italian sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion -chopped
  • 2T garlic
  • 1t fennel seeds
  • 1t black pepper (divided)
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1t white sugar
  • 1/4t cayenne pepper
  • 1-1/2T Italian seasoning
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2-1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes -drained and chopped into quarters
  • 1-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil -julienned
  • 2 (8 oz) tubs fresh mini mozzarella balls in water -drained and halved
  • 10 lasagna noodles
  • 2 (15oz containers) of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese mix

Directions

  1. Brown all the sausage in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Remove from the pot draining any excess grease out and set aside.

  2. Place the empty pot back over the heat. Add the chopped onions and saute for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and reduce to low heat. Toss all the ingredients around for about a minute and a half.

  3. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and the chopped whole tomato chunks. Stir together making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to get the browned bits of sausage that stuck on. Add 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, sugar, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, salt and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Bring the heat up to medium low and let cook for at least an hour stirring occasionally. You could make the sauce the day before and then reheat whenever you are ready to assemble your lasagna if you are wanting to serve this on a day that you don’t have time to do it all at once.

  4. In a seperate small bowl beat the egg and mix in the ricotta and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside.

  5. When your pot of sauce is almost done cooking, add the meat and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×9 lasagna dish, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the lasagna noodles. *TIP -If you add a tablespoon or so of cooking oil to the water it will help keep your noodles from sticking to each other, but you will still want to gently toss occasionally while they are boiling to ensure they stay separated*. Allow them to boil for about 8-10 minutes. They will NOT be completely cooked but will continue to soften when you cook the lasagna. Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water. To assemble the lasagna, put a couple of ladles of sauce into the bottom of the lasagna dish and spread evenly. Layer a few of the noodles over the sauce overlapping one another. Spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles. Add another layer of noodles followed by sauce, the Italian cheese mixture, and 1/2 cup Parmesan (leaving some of the cheese aside for the top). Repeat these steps until the dish is filled to the top. You may have some left over sauce, whenever I do, I just freeze it and save it for spaghetti another night.

  6. Top the lasagna with half of the basil and all of the mozzarella balls. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan and 3/4 cups Italian cheese mix and sprinkle that with the last 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Grease a piece of aluminum foil with butter or spray with cooking spray and cover the top of the lasagna. Place the dish of lasagna on a cookie sheet in case some spills over. Cook in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes then uncover and cook for about 25 minutes until the top is bubbly and slightly browned. (Because the mozzarella balls have so much moisture, they may make little puddles of water on the top of your lasagna when it’s done cooking, if this happens just blot with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.)

  7. Serve in big hunks and top with the remaining basil. Then curl up for a good nap because you will be full!

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