Recipe: Italian Sausage and Beef Lasagna


Sausage and Beef Lasagna, Courtesy: www.bettycrocker.com
Italian Sausage and Beef Lasagna, Courtesy: http://www.bettycrocker.com

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.

Ingredients:
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

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Heat oven to 350º F.
  4. Cook and drain noodles as directed on package.
  5. In medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and the oregano.
  6. 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.
  7. Cover; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake about 15 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly.
  8. 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).

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