Prep 45 mins
Cook 2 hrs
This is a really good lasagna.
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 lb ground chuck
- 1⁄2 lb ground sirloin
- 4 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
- 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 (28 ounce) canspeeled whole tomatoes, finely chopped, juices reserved
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
- 2 cups chicken stock (or low-sodium chicken broth)
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs, tied together with kitchen string
- 1 pinch sugar
- salt & fresh ground pepper
- 1 1⁄2 lbs sweet Italian sausage (casings removed)
- 2 lbs fresh ricotta
- 1⁄4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1 lb whole milk mozzarella, shredded (3 cups)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 12 dried lasagna noodles
- 1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chuck and sirloin and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat into large chunks, until no longer pink. Add the garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until the meat is coated. Add the tomatoes and their juices and the tomato puree along with the chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat (uncovered or mostly uncovered) stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 8 cups, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs (discard.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- 2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet. Add the sausage in large pieces and cook over moderately high heat until browened and just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain the sausage and break it into 1/2-inch pieces.
- 3. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta with the parsley, basil, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Add two-thirds of the shredded mozzarella and season with salt and pepper. Beat in the egg.
- 4. Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water. Dry the noodles between layers of paper towels.
- 5. Preheat the oven to 375°F Spread 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Line the dish with 4 overlapping noodles. Spread one-half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, then top with one-half of the sausage, 1 1/2 cups of the sauce and then another 4 noodles. Repeat the layering with the remaining ricotta, sausage and another 1 1/2 cups of the sauce. Top with 4 noodles and cover with 1 1/2 cups of sauce. Toss the remaining 1 cups of mozzarella with the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan and sprinkle over the lasagna.
- 6. Bake the lasagna for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and crip around the edges and the filling is bubbling. Let the lasagna rest for 20 minutes before serving.
- * Mind the instruction to cook the sauce down to 8 cups. It's easy to end up with too much sauce for the pan.
- * I use part skim mozzarella over whole milk. I think it melts and tastes better in this.
- * always make more lasagna noodles than you need because you always get some that tear and rip.