This is a really rich lasagna that’s truly elevated by the homemade Bolognese. I can’t eat it every night, in fact, I don’t do lasagna often but when it’s requested, this is my go to recipe. This is another great one from America’s Test Kitchen. It can be made ahead up to 2 days prior to cooking and obviously, it’s another one dish recipe.
- Olive Oil
- 1 medium onion
- 6 garlic cloves (pressed or minced)
- 1 pound meatloaf mix or 1/3lb each of pork, veal and beef
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
- 1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatos, drained
- 15 ounce tub of ricotta (whole or part-skim)
- 1 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup of chopped, fresh basil leaves
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles (I use DeCeccio)
- 1 pound whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded, preferably fresh (sometimes I find this in the make your own pizza section of you supermarket, by the dough)
- Oil spray (olive, vegetable or canola) OR non-stick aluminum foil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
FOR THE SAUCE
Heat oil in large dutch oven, enough to coat the bottom of the pan, over medium high heat until shimmering (not smoking). Add the onion and cook until softened but not browned (reduce heat if necessary) for about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in meat and cook, breaking up and cooking until no longer pink and cooked through but not browned. DO NOT TASTE THE SAUCE. I did that once in my 20's and got the worst food poisoning of my life. Stir in the cream, and cook until the liquid evaporates and the fat remains, about 4 minutes. Stir in drained tomatoes and pure, bring to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Off heat season with salt and pepper.
FOR THE NOODLES
In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, egg, 1 cup of parmesan, chopped basil, salt and pepper.
Spread 1/4 cup of the meat sauce (enough to coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan - I use a pyrex) avoiding any large chunks of meet. You want this as level as possible as it is the base for the lasagne, keeping it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Place 3 of the noodles, side by side, on top of the sauce. This is your foundation. Spread 3 TBS of ricotta in a row down the center of each noodle, with some space in between. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella and then spoon 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce on top, evenly, down a line. Repeat, layering the noodles and adding the cheese and sauce two more times.
For the final layer, place the 3 remaining noodles on top of the sauce, then spread the remaining sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle with remaining cup of mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan.
Spray a sheet of aluminum with oil spray to make non-stick or use non-stick aluminum foil. Cover dish tightly with foil, bake for 15 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 25 minutes until the cheese is brown and spotty. Let cool for 10 minutes, serve.
TO MAKE AHEAD
Assemble the lasagna to the point of covering with the foil, but instead of foil, wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refridgerate for up to two day. Remove plastic wrap and replace with foil (and continue with directions above) to bake.