If you are looking for a comfort cozy meal for dinner that’s layered with flavor, look no further than my Lasagna Love recipe. This is the world’s best lasagna, authentic Italian like your Nona would make the family for a Sunday Supper.
Lasagna is a wonderful meal because it’s made all in one pan, so the clean-up is super easy. Also, the full pan will feed 12 people as a norm, so it’s great for a larger group, or simply your immediate family leaving leftovers for the next day. You can even make this Lasagna Love ahead of time and then pop it in the oven when you get home from a long day.
Now, unlike the lasagna recipes you have made before, this easy lasagna recipe is not drenched in a jar of store-bought pasta sauce. The meat sauce in this recipe is made from scratch and has just the right amount of tomato taste that is enhanced further with the flavor of the sautéed vegetables, meat, and wine.
This Lasagna Love is admired for the way it stays together on the plate when it is served. Your fork can cut through the layers of pasta that holds the meat and cheese creating the most amazing bite. I usually served my Lasagna Love with a beautiful green salad dressed with my Peppery Garlic Parmesan Cheese Dressing and some fresh bread.
Ingredients For A Lasagna:
- Oven ready lasagna noodles
- Olive oil
- Onion, finely chopped
- Celery, finely chopped
- Carrot, finely chopped
- Pound lean ground beef
- Pound Italian sausage – casing removed
- Dry white wine
- Tomato paste
- Whole Italian plum tomatoes, mashed with their juice
- Sodium free chicken stock
- Heavy cream
- Salt & Pepper
- Ricotta cheese
- Eggs, beaten
- Grated parmesan, divided
- Grated mozzarella, divided
How To Make Lasagna Love?
In a large, heavy pot, or cast iron pan, sauté onions, celery, and carrots on medium heat until softened and slightly browned. Browning the vegetables is an important step to developing the flavor profile you will build upon for the sauce. So much so that the French refer to this combination as Mirepoix. It’s traditionally, like we have here, used in a ratio that is two parts onion to 1 part celery and carrot.
Once the vegetables are sautéed, turn up the heat and add the hamburger meat to brown. While the hamburger starts to brown, start to cut the casings from your Italian sausage and drop the sausage in the pan with the hamburger. As the meat browns, you want to break up the meat to be sure it combines. The easiest way to combine and break up the sausage and hamburger meat into small pieces is to use a hand potato masher. Keep stirring the mixture for about 10 minutes.
To drain the meat mixture or not to drain the meat mixture is a personal preference. I do not remove the fat from the meat mixture because I believe the grease adds depth to the sauce that is needed. I do make it a point to buy a lean variety of hamburgers to reduce the fat, but the Italian sausage will still have a bit of fat to add.
Open your bottle of wine. Now is a great time to pour yourself a glass and enjoy the cooking process?! The general rule of thumb is to cook with wine to drink as a guide for what to use. I used a moderately priced Sauvignon Blanc. Easy to find in most grocery stores, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular white wines in the U.S. It is often known for its refreshing crispness due to higher acidity and low amounts of sugar. I have used anything I have had on hand, and the lasagna turns out amazing. Now add in tomato paste, and boil for 2-3 minutes until wine is evaporated.
Next, add the can of tomatoes. Take your potato masher and start to mash the tomatoes to squeeze out all of their juices in the pan. Be sure to make sure you are breaking up the pulp of the tomato too. You want to be sure that the pieces of tomato pulp are not going to be too big and become a tomato blob of a bite.
Lastly, add in the low sodium chicken stock, heavy cream and let it simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Hit the seasoning with salt and pepper until seasoned to your likening. Leave on the stovetop while you combine the other ingredients.
Ricotta Cheese Filling:
Grab a couple of fresh eggs and lightly beat them in a small bowl. Then add the 15-ounce package of ricotta to the bowl and stir until well combined. Add in a cup of grated parmesan and a cup of grated mozzarella, seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper. Set the ricotta cheese filling aside.
Time To Assemble The Lasagna:
Before you start to assemble the Lasagna:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Carefully remove the meat sauce from the stovetop and place it on a hot pad or trivet on the counter near your workspace.
- Gather a 9 x 13 baking dish, the ricotta cheese mixture, and your oven-ready lasagna noodles.
Let The Layering Begin!
First, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of your 9 x13 inch baking pan. I prefer to use a glass baking pan because you can see the layers and the cheese when you serve. However, you can use a non-stick baking pan if you desire.
Now, top the meat sauce with four noodles lengthwise, and then place one noodle vertical to get a complete layer of noodles across the pan.
Take a slotted spoon to dish two very meaty cups of sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozzarella evenly over the meat layer.
Repeat, topping the meat sauce with four noodles lengthwise, and then place one noodle vertical to get a complete layer of noodles across the pan. Spread the entire ricotta cheese mixture on top of the noodles as evenly as possible.
Yep, you guessed it, topping the meat sauce with four noodles lengthwise, and then place one noodle vertical to get a complete layer of noodles across the pan.
Add 2 more meaty cups of sauce and 1 cup of mozzarella across the pan, and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
With the oven nice and hot at 375 degrees, spray a piece of parchment paper with your favorite oil spray on one side. The oil will keep the cheese topping from sticking to the parchment paper. Then cover the 9 x 13-inch pan with the prepared parchment paper. Cover this parchment sheet with aluminum foil and tuck the sides to keep the steam in.
To prevent the drippings from getting your oven dirty, put your pan on to a sheet pan. You will bake the Lasagna for 50 minutes, making sure the sauce is bubbling, and pasta is cooked when removed from the oven.
Since the Lasagna is finished cooking, we want to brown the cheesy top to a golden brown. Turn the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Uncover the Lasagna and place the Lasagna back into the oven for another 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on the Lasagna and remove it when the cheese is golden brown.
Let the Lasagna cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Tips & Tricks
- You can make this ahead of time and then pop it in the oven for a relaxed serving.
- Make sure you use OVEN-ready Lasagna noodles to save you time!
- Do not go cheap on the quality of ingredients. Use high-grade parmesan cheese, full-fat ricotta cheese, and low moisture mozzarella cheese for rich-tasting results.
- Use whatever white wine you have on hand in a pinch.
- Let the Lasagna rest for 10 minutes, or the piece of Lasagna will be a running mess on the plate.
Meat Sauce: Ricotta Cheese Filling: Assemble the Lasagna: Baking:
Ricotta Cheese Filling:
Assemble the Lasagna:
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