Lasagna w/ Hearty Tomato-Meat Sauce

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December 2, 2009 by Erica

Tomato-Meat Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
  • ½ lb lean ground beef
  • ½ lb sweet Italian sausage
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomato puree
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained

Ricotta, Mozzarella, and Pasta Layers

  • 15 oz ricotta cheese (1 ¾ cup)
  • 2 ½ oz grated parmesan cheese (1 ¼ cups)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 16 oz whole milk mozzarella, shredded (4 cups)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°.

Heat oil in large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add ground meats, salt, and pepper; cook, breaking meat into small pieces with wooden spoon, until meat loses its raw color but has not browned, about 4 minutes. Add cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates and only fat remains, about 4 minutes. Add pureed and drained diced tomatoes and bring to simmer; reduce heat to low and simmer slowly until flavors are blended, about 3 minutes; set sauce aside. (Sauce can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days; reheat before assembling lasagna.)

Mix ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, basil, egg, salt, and pepper in medium bowl with fork until well-combined and creamy; set aside.

Assemble first lasagna layer beginning by smearing bottom of 9 x 13-inch pan with ½ cup meat sauce.  Place 3 noodles on top.  Drop 3 scant Tbsp ricotta mixture down center of each noodle.  Level by pressing flat with back of measuring spoon.  Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup shredded mozzarella.  Next, spoon 1 ½ cups meat sauce evenly over cheese. Repeat layering of noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, and sauce two more times. Place 3 remaining noodles on top of sauce, spread remaining sauce over noodles, sprinkle with remaining cup mozzarella, then with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Lightly spray a large sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover lasagna. Bake 15 minutes, then remove foil. Return lasagna to oven and continue to bake until cheese is spotty brown and sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes longer. Cool lasagna about 10 minutes; cut into pieces and serve.

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