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This recipe comes from a book titled "The Best Make-Ahead Recipe." From the book's jacket: ". . . America's Test Kitchen uncovers the secrets behind truly great make-ahead dishes by reengineering recipes from the ground up to withstand storage and reheating, so your food always tastes fresh and flavorful." I haven't yet tried this recipe but put it here for safe keeping.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 6 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tbsps)
- 1 lb meatloaf mix (or half 85% ground beef and half ground pork or sweet italian sausage)
- salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 24 ounces ricotta cheese, whole milk (about 3 cups)
- 2 ounces parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
- 1⁄2 cup basil leaves, fresh, chopped
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
NOODLES AND CHEESE
- 12 lasagna noodles, no-boil (preferably Barilla)
- 1 lb mozzarella cheese, whole milk shredded (about 4 cups)
- 1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
- FOR THE SAUCE: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the meat loaf mix, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the meat loses its raw color but has not browned, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in the cream, bring to a simmer, and cook until the liquid evaporates and only the fat remains, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and drained diced tomatoes, Bring to a simmer and cook until the flavors are blended, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
- FOR THE RICOTTA FILLING: Stir all of the ingredients together until combined; set aside.
- TO ASSEMBLE THE LASAGNA: Spread 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch baking dish (avoiding large chunks of meat). Place 3 of the noodles in a single layer in the baking dish. Spread 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture over each noodle, then sprinkle the layer with 1 cup of the mozzarella. Spoon 1 cup of the sauce evenly over the cheeses. Repeat the layering of the noodles, ricotta, mozzerella, and sauce twice more. Place the remaining 3 noodles on top, cover with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and the Parmesan.
- TO STORE: Wrap the dish tightly with plastic wrap and then foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. (If frozen, the casserole must be completely thawed in the refrigerator, about 24 hours.).
- TO SERVE: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Unwrap the dish and cover tightly with foil that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray (or use nonstick foil). Bake until the sauce bubbles lightly around the edges, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until hot throughout and the cheese is browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- TO SERVE RIGHT AWAY: Bake as directed, reducing the covered baking time to 15 minutes.
I made this for dinner tonight and it's definitely a keeper lasagna recipe. Full of flavour and easy to assemble.