Lasagna always reminds me of one thing. My Aunt. When I was a kid, every Halloween we would go to my Aunt’s house and go trick or treating. During that time, she’d be making her delicious lasagna so after our night of trick-or-treating we would come back and have a delicious plate of lasagna. I don’t think I had anyone else’s until many years later, and hers is the basis that I compare any to.
Now, I know it’s well past Halloween, but this is definitely the season for cuddle weather and comfort food. What’s more comforting than a nice big pan of delicious lasagna? This is not my Aunt’s recipe, matter of fact I should ask her for hers sometime. But this is my own that I’ve developed through the years and I think it’s pretty good. Hopefully you do too, and it does my Aunt proud! (Auntie E., I’m talking to you!)
- one pound Italian sausage
- one pound ground beef (I use ground turkey)
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 (4 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 (28 ounce) can of Italian style crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped (divided)
- 8-10 dry lasagna noodles
- 23 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
|Start by combining the meats, onion and garlic in a pan and browning them.|
|Once the meat is mostly browned add the mushrooms and spinach.|
|Continue to cook through until meat is browned and spinach is wilted, as shown here.|
|Once browned, add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste with the water.|
|While the sauce is simmering and the noodles are softening, you can prepare your cheese filling. Combine the ricotta cheese in a bowl with the egg and nutmeg and the remaining 1/4 cup of chopped parsley. Mix together well to form the filling.|
|Once everything is ready and prepared you can start building your lasagna. First lightly spray a lasagna pan so the sides won’t stick. Then place a few large spoonfuls of sauce at the bottom of the pan.|
|Lightly shake off 4-5 lasagna noodles and lay them out over the meat sauce.
My pan is a little longer than the noodles, so I tore a few extra noodles into squares to place at the bottom right of the photo to make the noodles fit.
|Now spread about half of the ricotta cheese filling over the noodles.|
|Spread 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese over the top of the filling, and 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese over that.|
|Now spread about half of the remaining meat mixture over the top.|
|Now lay down your remaining 4-5 noodles.|
|Now spread out the remaining ricotta filling.
Then 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese, and 1/3 of the parmesan cheese.
|Here you’ll spread out the remaining meat sauce mixture.|
|Now use the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
Cover with foil (I spray the inside of the foil so it won’t stick to the cheeses) and bake for 30 minutes.
|Remove the foil, and bake another 25 minutes.|
|Remove from oven, the sides will be bubbling.|
|Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
I use this time to make a salad and some garlic bread, like my Pull-Apart Garlic Cheesy Bread.
|Serve and enjoy!|