Prep 2 hrs
Cook 1 hr
To save some time make the sauce a day in advance --- the complete lasagna can be prepared and baked the next day :)
- 3 -4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 -3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- 3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped (chop about 1/4-inch pieces)
- 7 -10 ounces Italian sausages, casings removed (preferably spicy)
- 1⁄2 lb ground beef or 1⁄2 lb pork
- 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes (or to taste, add in more for extra spicy)
- 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1⁄2 cup tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 -2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 -2 small bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- 2 (15 ounce) containers ricotta cheese
- 3⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained (squeeze out any moisture with hands, use only HALF of the package)
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- salt and black pepper
- 15 lasagna noodles (cooked to ONLY firm-tender, do not over-cook the pasta!)
- 1⁄4-1⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese (or to taste)
- 5 -6 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- Prepare this sauce up to 3 days ahead to blend flavors; heat oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat.
- Add in onions, chopped carrots, garlic and dried chili flakes; saute for about 10-12 minutes.
- Add in ground beef and the sausage meat, cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, breaking up the meat for about 6-7 minutes.
- Add in all remaining ingredients; stir to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally; cool and refrigerate overnight.
- For the filling: combine ricotta, mozzarella cheese, and about 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese in a bowl; mix well to combine, season with black pepper and salt.
- Add in drained spinach, then mix in eggs.
- Set oven to 350°F.
- Grease an 13x9-inch glass baking dish or one a little larger with high sides.
- Spread about 1/2 cup (or a little more) sauce on the bottom.
- Place 5 cooked lasagna noodles over the sauce (overlapping to fit in the dish).
- Spread HALF of the ricotta/spinach mixture over the noodles.
- Sprinkle about 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese evenly over the ricotta/spinach mixture.
- Spoon about 2 cups (or more) sauce over the mozzarella cheese, spreading with a spoon to cover (the sauce will be slightly thick).
- Repeat layering starting again with 5 noodles, then remaining ricotta mixture, about 2 cups mozzarella cheese and more sauce.
- Arrange 5 more noodles over the sauce.
- Spread more sauce over the noodles.
- Sprinkle with about 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle with about 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or to taste).
- Cover with foil (at this point you can refrigerate up to 1 day ahead to bake later).
- Bake for about 40 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for another 35-40 minutes, or until bubbly.
- Let stand about 10-15 minutes (or longer) before slicing.
Was anticipating more stringy-cheesiness. It filled up the 13x9 dish more than any other recipe which was nice. But then couldn't add any extra shredded mozzarella for our personal tweeking.
This lasagna smelled so wonderful while baking! The flavors together, awesome! I used mild italian sausage and pork along with 1/2 package of frozen spinach. Cooked the lasagna noodles until the were just ready to start bending. This is a great lasagna!! Thank you Kittencal for posting!