I usually make lasagna for Christmas eve and use my Mom’s recipe. It’s a pretty basic recipe. No, we are not Italian. But it’s damn good. I suggest you give it a try and let me know how it comes out! This could be good for that special person in your life for a birthday, anniversary or maybe even Valentines day 😉
- 1 lb ground beef (85-90% lean)
- 1lb ground pork sausage, mild (spicy if you like it like that)
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 16 oz package low moisture-part skim mozzarella cheese
- 16 oz jar of marinara (save half for later)
- 4-6 cloves fresh garlic
- 8 oz red wine (use something you like, drink a glass while you cook!)
- 12 oz grated Parmesan cheese (save 4 oz for top)
- 2 eggs
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 package “no boil” lasagna noodles
- Oregano flakes
- Garlic powder
In a large pot, bring about 4 quarts of water to a simmer, turn it off and add 6-12 noodles (I try not to put too many in the pot at one time). Brown up your sausage and ground beef. I usually do one, drain it, set it aside, brown up the other, drain that, then mix them together. You then want to add the fresh garlic and tomato paste. Sprinkle about 1 tsp of oregano onto the meat. Let it cook for a few minutes before you add the wine. Once the wine is in, let that simmer for a good 10-15 minutes. When it’s done, put your meat in a bowl to cool. Deglaze your pan with a little wine and some water. You want to get all that goodness out of the pan. Pour it into your sauce/water mix. ( 1 cup of marinara and 1 cup of water)
While the meat is cooking: Good time to prepare the cheese mix! In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and eggs (1 at a time) then add 8 oz of mozzarella and 1 cup of the Parmesan. It should look nice and creamy!
Once your noodles are soft, you are ready to rock and roll. Line that pan with your sauce/water mix (I use 3/4 to 1 cup of the mix) Lay down your first layer of noodles. I usually lay 3 down vertically to cover the pan then take another 2 and tear them in half (lengthwise) and lay them on the edges. You want a nice sturdy base. You are now ready for meat! Spoon out the meat generously, gently spread it across your pan. Don’t press too hard so that the sauce pops up, but do fill it in. Another layer of noodles. Now cheese mix. Same as the meat, get it in the corners first and work it until nice and even.
Another layer of noodles, then the rest of the sauce (make sure to pour a little down each corner). Sprinkle a little oregano and garlic powder on top. Sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Evenly spread out the rest of the mozzarella. Grease up some aluminum foil and cover (you don’t want cheese sticking to the foil). Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 375. Reduce to 350, bake for another 20 minutes. Take the foil off*, bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted. If serving the same day, let cool at least 40 minutes before slicing. I make this the day/night before so it has lots of time to set up in the fridge.
Warming up: 20 minutes at 375, reduce to 350, bake for another 20 minutes. Cheese should be nice and melted, inside should be piping hot!
If you like it spicy, you may cook up some jalapenos/red pepper flakes or add hot giardiniera to your meat mixture.
You might have noticed a lack of salt with this recipe. You should get enough salt from the Italian sausage and cheese. Please try it first before adding salt!
*Note: If serving the next day, keep the foil on the lasagna so the cheese does not burn/dry out. Take it off for the last 15-20 minutes when you are warming it to serve.