World's Best Lasagna
- 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
- 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1/2 C water
- 2 T sugar
- 1 1/2 t dried basil
- 1/2 t fennel seeds
- 1 t Italian seasoning
- 1 t salt
- 1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
- 4 T chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 12 (or more) lasagna noodles
- 16-24 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 lb. sliced mozzarella cheese
- 1 C grated Parmesan cheese
1. 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. Mix in sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 T salt, pepper and 2 T parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
2. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling, salted water for 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Alternatively, ready-bake lasagna noodles are perfectly acceptable as well.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with the egg, remaining parsley and 1/2 t salt.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5. Using a 9x13 lasagna pan, assemble as follows: spread 1 1/2 C sauce in bottom of pan, arrange lasagna noodles on top of sauce to cover as much as possible. Spread approx. 1/2 of the ricotta mixture on top of noodles. Top with mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 C sauce on top of cheese and sprinkle with 1/4 C Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering in this order ending with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top. Cover pan with non-stick foil.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until cheese on top is melted and starting to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.