Kittencal's Four Cheese Lasagna

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READY IN: 24hrs 40mins
SERVES: 12
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • Prepare this sauce a day ahead.
  • For the MEAT SAUCE; in a large heavy pot cook the sausage meat with crushed chili flakes and onion until the meat is lightly browned breaking up the meat while cooking; drain any fat from the sausage meat.
  • Add in garlic, basil and oregano; cook stirring for about 3 minutes.
  • Add in tomato paste; cook stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
  • Add in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, 1 tablespoon salt, black pepper and 1 tablespoon sugar; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours stirring occasionally and adjusting the salt and sugar to taste.
  • Cool sauce to room temperature and refrigerate overnight or up to 5 days.
  • For the CHEESE FILLING; heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add in onion with dried Italian seasoning and saute until just lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes (adding in the fresh garlic after the last 2 minutes (do not brown the garlic).
  • To the bowl add in ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, soft cream cheese, eggs, seasoned salt and black pepper; mix well to combine (at this point you may cover and refrigerate for 24 hours).
  • In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the lasagna noodles until they are just al dente (do not over cook the noodles as they will cook more in the oven, cooking time for the noodles should be a little less time than stated on the box).
  • Carefully remove the noodles then place into a large bowl of very cold water, shake off any excess water before layering in the dish.
  • Grease a large pan with high sides or a lasagna pan.
  • TO ASSEMBLE; spread about 2-1/2 to 3 cups meat sauce evenly to cover the bottom of the pan (I just use 2 ladles full it will depend on the size pan that you use).
  • Over the meat sauce, going lengthwise down the dish arrange 6 noodles overlapping slightly, then place 2 noodles at the end of the dish going the other way cutting off one end to fit in the dish.
  • Spread HALF of the ricotta mixture over the noodles (the ricotta does not have to cover completely, it will depend on how large your pan is).
  • Top the ricotta with a THIRD of the mozzarella slices, then spoon about 3 cups sauce over the slices.
  • Repeat the layers using 8 noodles, remaining HALF of ricotta mixture, 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese slices and 3 cups sauce on the top of the cheese slices (do not add on the remaining mozzarella cheese until the end of baking).
  • If your pan is very full then I advise to place onto a large baking sheet to catch any spills.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 1-1/2 hours or until the ricotta cheese mixture is set and firm and the lasagna is bubbling hot.
  • Remove from oven and top with remaining mozzarella slices then 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; return to oven and bake uncovered until the cheese is melted and bubbly (about 8 minutes).
  • For easier slicing allow the lasagna to sit for about at 30 minutes even more.
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