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Melissa's Meaty Lasagna

Updated on October 10, 2017
Melissa Althen profile image

Melissa is a Certified Food Scientist with over 20 years in the food industry. New food development and matching are her specialties.

Lasagna actually originated in Greece, not Italy, at least by name. The name "lasagna," or “lasagne,” is derived from the Greek word "laganon"—the first known form of pasta. The name refers more to the layering of pasta, sauce, and cheese versus the actual ingredients. Italians perfected the dish we know today.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Finely Diced
  • 8 oz Mushroom (Shitake/Baby Bella Blend Used ), Chopped
  • 1 lb Ground Chuck
  • 1 lb Mild Italian Sausage, Ground
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil, Chopped (Chiffonade)
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley, Chopped
  • 1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper, Plus extra for topping
  • 12 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 32 oz Crushed Tomato
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine
  • 1 Egg, Beaten
  • 16 oz Whole Milk Ricotta
  • 3 oz Pecorino Romano Cheese, Finely Grated
  • 16 oz Shredded Mozarella, Part Skim
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley, Finely Grated
  • 16 oz Lasagna Noodles, Soaked in hot tap water 30 minutes
  • Garnish Dried Basil & Parsley

Instructions

  1. Brown the beef, sausage, onion, and mushroom in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Drain the grease. Return to heat and add the garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the basil, 2 Tbsp Parsley, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine, then immediately add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, wine, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour.
  2. While the meat sauce cooks, prepare the cheese filling. Mix the ricotta, egg, 2 Tbsp parsley, and pecorino Romano cheese.
  3. When the sauce has 30 minutes left to cook, put the uncooked noodles in a large rectangular pan. Fill with very hot tap water. Let the noodles soak for 20-30 minutes. Separate the noodles with your hands as they soak. Refill the hot water halfway through soaking for softer noodles.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F. Remove the noodles from the pan. Ladle 1/4 of the meat sauce onto the bottom of the pan. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture on the noodles. Sprinkle with 4oz of mozzarella cheese. Ladle 1/4 of the meat sauce on top of the mozzarella. Add another layer of noodles. Repeat, making 3 layers of noodles. On the top layer of noodles, spread the remaining meat and cover with 8oz of mozzarella. Sprinkle with additional black pepper if desired. (Can sprinkle with dried parsley/basil for color and additional flavor)
  5. Cook for 25 minutes, covered with foil. Do not let the foil touch the cheese or it will stick. Remove the foil and cook an additional 25 minutes. Let the lasagna cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Sauce Ingredients

Meat Sauce Cooking

Arranging the Noodles

I clip the ends off of the horizontal top layer for a smooth finish.
I clip the ends off of the horizontal top layer for a smooth finish.

Finished Lasagna

Tips

1. Soaking the noodles is the absolute easiest way to soften them with no breaking and no handling of boiling hot noodles.

2. I purchase a large foil pan with a lid for cooking lasagna. I multi-purpose the plastic lid for soaking the noodles.

3. To safeguard against the foil sticking to the cheese, grease the foil with vegetable oil on the side facing the cheese.

4. You will notice I have not added any salt to this recipe. There is a lot of salt in canned tomato products and cheese. Season to your taste.

© 2017 Melissa Althen

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