This is my favorite lasagna, made with a meaty Bolognese style sauce and filled with lots of ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses. I use ground beef and ground sausage in this lasagna, but it could be made with all ground beef or a mixture of ground beef and ground pork.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 8 Servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, 85% to 90%
- 1/2 to 3/4 pound Italian sausage, removed from casings
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (7 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, divided
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, about 3 to 4 ounces
- 1 large egg
- 3 to 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- lasagna sheets or noodles, about 12, depending on size, cooked following package directions (enough to make 3 layers of noodles in the pan)
In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Add the ground beef and sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up, until no longer pink. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water. Add the bay leaf and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour. Stir in 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley. Remove the bay leaf and set aside.
Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking dish or pan. Heat the oven to 375° F.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of parsley, and the large egg. Stir until smooth and well blended.
Cover the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking pan with a thin layer of the sauce. Cover the sauce layer with lasagna noodles. Top with about 1/3 of the remaining sauce and half of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with a generous layer of mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the noodles and another 1/3 of the sauce. Top with the remaining ricotta mixture and more mozzarella. Cover with another layer of lasagna noodles, then top with the remaining sauce and a layer of mozzarella cheese.
Cover the pan loosely with foil, tenting somewhat so the foil won't stick to the cheese as it melts.
Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until hot and bubbly and the cheese has melted.
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