What could be better on a cold winter night then a big old pan of Lasagna?! After years and years of trying different recipes, following others, and adapting to my own, I have finally found the perfect combination of sauce to cheese ratio that my family just loves.
tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup chopped onion
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage (I have used both ground, and sausage I have removed from casings)
1 Large can of crushed italian tomatoes (good quality)
One 6 ounce can of tomato paste
1/4 cup of red wine for de-glazing the pan
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
1 /4 cup fresh oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Tbsp of butter
12 lasagna noodles
1 lb Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg beaten
1 lb fresh whole milk mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan to top last layer
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F and move rack to center position
- Heat olive oil in the pan over medium heat and add onions cooking till translucent. Add sausage and garlic, cooking and breaking up till the meat is no longer pink and cooked through. De-glaze the pan with 1/4 cup red wine, and scrap the bits off the bottom of pan for flavor for about a minute. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered on medium low heat for 20 minutes. Add the tablespoon of butter. This ensures that there is not bitterness from your tomatoes. If the sauce seems too thick, you can add a touch of water, but I have never found it to be a problem.
- While sauce is simmering, soak the lasagna noodles in a pan with hot tap water. (No cooking of pasta needed, just the soak.
- In a large bowl, start the filling. Combine ricotta, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, beaten egg, parsley, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Building the layers; start by covering the bottom of the 9 x 12 x 2 pan with sauce, about 1/4th of the sauce. Next lay out your lasagna noodles. I use three noodles across and one at the top to fill in the gap. Then add your mozzarella cheese slices, leaving space between for melting, and then ricotta cheese. Repeat layers, starting with sauce until your last layer is the sauce again. Sprinkle with a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
- Bake uncovered for 50 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.