Prep 1 hr
Cook 40 mins
If you're looking for something fast and easy to make for dinner tonight, this isn't it! But if you're looking for a lasagna to impress, this one's it. The crespelle, which are italian crepes, add a lighter fluffy texture to the lasagna, so I go lighter on the cheese than you would with traditional lasagna. If you like a less sweet sauce, cut the sugar in half. If you want it sweeter, more power too you!
For the Crespelle
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 1⁄2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- olive oil
For the Sauce
- 1 cup sweet white onion, diced
- 1⁄2 cup sweet red pepper, diced
- 1⁄2 cup sweet green pepper, diced
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves (or more)
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, without casing
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 (28 ounce) cancrushed tomatoes with garlic
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- salt and pepper
- crushed red pepper flakes
- 24 ounces ricotta cheese, good quality is important
- 2 eggs
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 1⁄2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup mozzarella cheese
- Make Crespelle Batter:.
- Start with the crespelle batter by mixing together flour and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk four eggs plus milk.
- Whisk the eggs into the flour mixture, and beat until you smooth and bubbly.
- Melt butter in microwave.
- Whisk butter into the batter.
- Chill in the fridge for one hour while you make the sauce.
- Make Your Sauce:.
- In a very large sauce pot, saute the onions, garlic, and peppers in the 2 tbs of olive oil.
- As they start cooking, add sugar and balsamic. (Red wine can be used if you prefer, but you may need to decrease the sugar a bit unless you like really sweet sauce.).
- Once the liquid evaporates and the veggies are softened, add the meats, and cook until browned. Be careful not to overcook, or they will be dry in your sauce!
- Add your cans of sauce, crushed tomatoes, and paste.
- Add your parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
- Simmer for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. Keep a very close eye out that the bottom doesn't start burning, as the sweeter the sauce, the easier it burns! Don't be afraid to taste as it simmers, and add more sugar, salt, pepper, or crushed red pepper if necessary. Remember to add only a little at a time, and then allow time for the flavors to grow before tasting and adding more!
- NOTE: This is enough sauce for TWO lasagna's, so reserve half and refrigerate or freeze when done.
- Cook Crespelles:.
- While the sauce simmers, finish making your crespelles.
- Heat a 10 inch non-stick skillet on medium high heat.
- Put a small amount of oil in the bottom of the pan and rub it inches.
- Add 1/4 cup of batter and swirl around the bottom of the pan so it covers making a 10 inch pancake.
- Loosen sides with spatula.
- When the top appears bubbled and dry, go ahead and flip. Crespelle should be very lightly browned on bottom.
- Give another minute or two on this side until brown spots appear on bottom.
- Stack in a plate separated by paper towels so they don't stick.
- I generally add a dab more oil between every two or three crespelle's.
- Should make about 12 crespelle's, with maybe one or two left over for the kids to snack on. (They LOVE these things plain!).
- Preheat your oven to 375.
- Make your filling:.
- Beat two eggs into the ricotta.
- Add 1/2 cup of parmesan and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella. (Note, if you use lasagna noodles in place of the crespelle, use a bit more cheese for 'body'.).
- To make the lasagna:.
- Spray the bottom of a lasagna pan with Pam.
- Place two crespelle's on the bottom of the pan, and tear parts of another one to fill in the two gaps on the side if necessary.
- Add about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of sauce to LIGHTLY cover the crespelle with sauce.
- Add one third of the cheese filling a teaspoon at a time, spreading over the sauce.
- Add another layer of crespelle, and repeat the sauce and cheese layers.
- Do this one more time, and then top with crespelle, a little more sauce, and sprinkle with the 1/4 cup parmesan and 1/2 cup mozarella.
- Bake at 375 for approximately 30-40 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
- Let the lasagna stand for 15-20 minutes to 'firm up'.
- Can be frozen as well.