- 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated (divide into 3 – 1/4 cup units)
- 12 oz Mozzarella, whole milk, low moisture (divide into 3 – 4 ounce units)
- 12 Lasagna Noodles
- 1/2 cup Onion, diced
- 3 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
- 1lb Italian Sausage, casing removed
- 1lb Ground Beef
- 28 oz Crushed Tomato (the big can)
- 2 cans Tomato Paste
- 1 24 ounce can of Pasta Sauce (I use Hunt’s Four Cheese)
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (or more to taste)
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 1 Tbsp Parsley (dried spice)
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper (or more to taste)
- 1/2 Tbsp Salt (or more to taste)
- 1/2 Tbsp Basil (dried spice)
- Additional 1 tsp Parsley (dried spice)
- 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning *
- 1 large egg
- 16 oz container of Ricotta Cheese
*I am super cheap and I make the Italian Seasoning myself with equal parts: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Thyme, Basil, Crushed Red Pepper, Parsley and Oregano. I toss in the processor and keep in a small plastic contianer. Some people include Rosemary and Marjoram – I only do if I happen to have those on hand when its time to make more. You can use store bought if you want.
- Heat a generous dollop of EVOO in a large pot on the stove top. Add in your garlic and onion and let them cook and soften a few minutes. Add the Sausage and Ground Beef, cook till no longer pink.
- Add the wet ingredients to the pot: Crushed Tomato, Tomato Paste, Pasta Sauce.
- Add the dry ingredients to the pot: Brown Sugar, Fennel, 1 Tbsp Parsley, Black Pepper, Salt & Basil. Cover and let simmer about 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
- While the sauce is cooking, mix the Italian Seasoning, Egg and the additional 1 tsp of Parsley to the Ricotta. If I find the 16 oz containers I mix it right in there and pop back in the fridge. If you need to slice your mozzarella, go ahead and do that now. I am crazy so I like slicing the hunk then rolling it flat a bit. Pre-sliced and shredded is too dense for my liking.
- When sauce is nearly done, cook, drain and rinse your noodles. I use 12 noodles for my 13 x 9 baking dish. You can certainly overlap more and use a whole box if that makes you happy. Quick Tip: Mist a cooling rack with cooking spray and layer the noodles, then spray those noodles and layer more noodles, etc. This keeps the cooked noodles nice and flat and prevents them from sticking together while you work.
- Preheat your oven to 375 F. (I do this right after I put the water on for the noodles.)
- Get your 13 x 9 pan and layer in 1 1/2 to 2 cups of meat sauce.
- Layer 4 noodles, 1/2 the ricotta (smooth over noodles gently), 4 ounces mozzarella, 1 1/2 to 2 cups meat sauce, 1/4 cup Parmesan.
- Repeat step 8. (Layer 4 noodles on top, last 1/2 of the ricotta, 4 ounces mozzarella, 1 1/2 – 2 cups meat sauce, 1/4 cup Parmesan.)
- Layer the remaining 4 noodles, top with 1 1/2 – 2 cups meat sauce, the remaining 4 ounces mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan.
- Cover with non-stick Foil (Try not to let it touch the cheese anyway). Bake 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10-15 minutes till the mozzarella on top is melted.
This serves 12 and clocks in at 500 calories. Click here to see the full nutrition stats. (Calories assume you used the same ingredients and used up every bit of sauce. You will have 1-2 cups of sauce left depending on how heavy you went on your layers. I like to serve a bit of the extra sauce for dipping bread.) I hope you enjoy. Come back and rate it if you try this recipe. 🙂 Stay crafty my friends, <3, Roni