Prep 2 hrs
Cook 2 hrs
Always proclaimed "the best I ever had".
- 1 lb ground round
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 3 lbs chopped yellow onions
- 1 chopped red onion
- 1⁄4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh oregano
- 3 heads garlic, chopped
- 3 lbs ricotta cheese, whole
- 1 lb mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1⁄2 lb provolone cheese, shreaded
- 1⁄4 lb parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated
- 2 lbs lasagna noodles (cooked)
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon red pepper (adjust to taste)
- 2 tablespoons sugar (adjust to taste)
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups dry red wine
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
- In a large sauté pan brown meats over a medium heat until dark brown and crumbly and all fat is absorbed.
- This will require a great deal of attention to prevent from burning.
- Place meat in stock pot over low heat.
- Add olive oil to sauté pan, heat and add onions and sauté till soft, add garlic and herbs and sauté until caramelized and brown.
- Add onion to stock pot, deglaze sauté pan with wine and add to stock pot.
- Bring stock pot to a simmer and cook until onion begins to fall apart.
- Add tomatoes and cook at a steady simmer for 30 minutes.
- Sauce should be very thick and almost all meat.
- Add additional seasoning and sugar to taste and remove from heat.
- NOTE: This sauce will be the only seasoning used to flavor many pounds of pasta and cheese so go heavy with the herbs and spices!
- The cheeses can be pretty salty, so don't get too carried away with the salt.
- In a large pot cook the lasagna al dente as directed on the package.
- This can be done while your sauce is simmering, but be sure you can give all your pots the attention they deserve!
- As always, handle your pasta very gently to prevent breakage and waste.
- After draining noodles and add a bit of olive oil to keep them from sticking.
- Not too much or your sauce and cheese won't stick to them.
- At this point I like to lay 8 or so perfect noodles aside to use for the top and bottom layers.
- There will be some left over noodles so don't worry about a few broken ones.
- Lightly grease a 13x9x4-inch pan with olive oil and add a layer of noodles.
- If your pasta is cooked properly it should take 3 1/2 strips.
- Spread cheeses and sauce on top of the noodles and top with a layer of noodles.
- Run your hands over the noodles to flatten out the layer-- keep things straight, flat and even.
- Continue to build 6 or 7 layers, I don't put mozzarella and provolone on every layer (it gets too gooey) and sometimes use more parmesiano or add some grated peccinoro romano.
- Leave the ricotta off the top layer and cover with a generous amount of lasagna sauce (see separate recipe).
- The lasagna can be refrigerated for several days at this point, I've even frozen it for several weeks!
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F, cover with foil (don't allow foil to touch sauce as there will be an unfavorable reaction that can leave a metallic taste to your lasagna).
- If you put the lasagna in the oven cold from the fridge, bake for 1-1/4 hours covered, if it's room temperature 45 minutes to an hour.
- Uncover and continue to bake until top is bubbly and cheese turns golden brown (20 to 20 minutes).
- Remove from oven and test, inside should be hot, if not then cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes.