This is my favorite recipe! I know what you’re thinking – sure it is! Really, it is. Coming from an Italian family, it only seemed natural that I would want to learn to cook the Italian staples, and it doesn’t get any more Italian than lasagna (except maybe for stuffed shells!).
I have made this recipe countless times and because of that, I have the ingredients just right! The recipe shown below is from “The Betty Crocker Cookbook,” (1989), with my own personal tweaks.
½ lb. bulk mild Italian pork sausage
½ lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 tsp. sugar
2 cups diced tomatoes (from 28-oz can), undrained
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
12 uncooked lasagna noodles (12 oz)
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In 10-inch skillet, cook sausage, onion and garlic over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Then, in same skillet, cook the ground beef until it is no longer pink; drain.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, sugar, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered about 45 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Heat oven to 350º F.
- Cook and drain noodles as directed on package.
- In medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and the oregano.
- Spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture in ungreased 13 x 9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Top with 4 noodles. Spread 1 cup of the cheese mixture over noodles; spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture. Sprinkle with 2/3 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat with 4 noodles, the remaining cheese mixture, 1 cup of the sauce mixture and 2/3 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Top with remaining noodles and sauce mixture. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Cover; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake about 15 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly.
- Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:
- The original recipe calls for 1 lb. of mild pork sausage. However, since I prefer a milder taste, I use ½ lb. mild pork sausage and ½ lb. lean ground beef. Use the amounts and types of sausage and beef that suit your taste.
- The original recipe calls for either ricotta cheese or cottage cheese. Definitely go with ricotta cheese for a silky texture and richer taste!
- You might be tempted to use light ricotta cheese to decrease the calories – don’t do it! It causes the lasagna to be too loose and it does not set up well. Trust me on this one.
- I have heard of this nonsense where you can use the lasagna noodles uncooked – I have not tried it, so I cannot recommend it. If you have tried that, please let me know!
- Individually wrapped leftovers freeze well.
Yield: 8 servings
Adapted From: http://www.bettycrocker.com (“The Betty Crocker Cookbook“, 1989).