I've convinced my husband that I make the most incredible lasagna they've ever tasted with this recipe. I make it pretty much as shown, except if I have the time, I let the sauce simmer on the stove as long as possible. I also add a bit of whatever red wine I have on hand to the sauce. And I try to make a double recipe, so I can use the sauce for other things - it works wonderfully for Chicken Parmesan, plain spaghetti, and anywhere else you'd use a red sauce.
Everything tastes better the second day, too. Oh, one more thing - I never boil my noodles. I simply buy regular dried noodles, and make sure I have plenty of sauce in the lasagna. It cooks long enough that the noodles boil in the oven, and you end up with a lasagna that isn't runny and holds its shape well.
I made the sauce the day before, simmering it for about 5 hours and stored it in the fridge overnight. I assembled the dish the following morning, put it back in the fridge until ready to cook and serve. Cooked at 350, covered with foil, for about 1-3/4 hours and then another 15 minutes uncovered. The 9 lasagna noodles were just right for three layers in a 9 x 13 pan. This recipe makes twice as much sauce as you need. I froze the rest and will use it to make this recipe again. You really should try this recipe if you are looking for an excellent lasagna.
WORLD'S BEST LASAGNA
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water 2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.