Better Lasagna

An epic version of the Italian classic that is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. If preparing for a crowd, the sauce can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Just reheat on the stovetop before assembling the lasagna. Additionally, you can tightly wrap a fully assembled but unbaked lasagna with plastic wrap and keep it in the freezer for up to 2 months. To bake, just transfer it to the refrigerator for two days to defrost and bake as directed.

  • Prep: 45 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Total: 1 hour 30 min
  • Serves 10 to 12

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Hearty Meat Sauce

Heat oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes.

  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

Cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

  • ¾ pound ground beef
  • ¾ pound sweet Italian sausage, cut in half lengthwise and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Add ground meats, salt, and pepper. Increase heat slightly and cook, breaking meat into small chunks with the back of a spoon or spatula, until meat is no longer raw but has not yet browned about 4 minutes.

  • ⅓ cup heavy cream

Add cream and simmer until it reduces and only the fat remains, about 4 minutes.

  • 28 ounce can tomato puree
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

Add pureed and diced tomatoes and bring to simmer, cooking until flavors have blended, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cheese Filling
  • 1 large egg

In a medium bowl, whisk egg.

  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1 ¾ cups)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Add ricotta, parmesan, basil, salt, and pepper to bowl and mix until combined. Set aside.

Assembly
  • 9 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • reserved ricotta mixture
  • reserved meat sauce

Get noodles, cheeses, and sauce ready to assemble, following these steps:

  • ¼ cup reserved meat sauce

Coat the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with reserved meat sauce.

noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese, meat sauce

Place a layer of no-boil lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. (Number required depends on the size of your pan and size of your noodles, but you want to cover the sauce.) Smear 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture over each noodle. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly on top and then top with 1 ½ cups of reserved sauce.

noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese, meat sauce

Repeat and place a layer no-boil lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Smear 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture over each noodle. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly on top and then top with 1 ½ cups of reserved sauce.

noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese, meat sauce

Repeat a third time and place a layer no-boil lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Smear 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture over each noodle. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly on top and then top with remaining sauce.

noodles, meat sauce

Top final layer of sauce with any remaining noodles and cover with remaining sauce.

  • remaining mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Sprinkle cheeses evenly over assembled lasagna.

Baking
  • cooking spray

Lightly coat a large sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and tightly cover baking dish.

Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese has browned, about 25 to 30 additional minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with garlic bread and a salad.

 

Recipe and picture taken from Makebetterfood.com under the Creative Commons License.

 

 

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