1 pound Sweet Italian Sausage
1/2 cup Onion; minced
4 cloves Garlic; crushed
28 ounce Tomatoes; crushed
13 ounce Tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Sugar; white
1 1/2 teaspoons Basil leaves; fresh and chopped
1/2 teaspoon Fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper; ground
12 noodles Lasagna Noodles
60 ounces Ricotta cheese
4 ounces Mushrooms; sliced
1 1/2 pounds Mozzarella; sliced
3 ounces Mozzarella; shredded, optional
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese; grated
Directions: 1. In a Dutch oven, cook onion, garlic and mushrooms over medium heat until well browned.
2. Once the onions, garlic and mushrooms are browned, mix in and cook the sausage until browned.
3. Stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season with 1 tablespoon sugar, 1.5 teaspoons freshly chopped basil, .5 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, .5 tablespoon salt, .25 teaspoon black pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley (optional). Simmer covered, for about 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. 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. (or cook using hot water in a pan, which is much easier)
5. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with eggs, remaining parsley (optional), and .5 teaspoon salt.
6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
7. To assemble, spread 1.5 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.
8. Spoon 1.5 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with .25 cup Parmesan cheese.
9. Add remaining 6 lasagna noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Cover with remainder of ricotta cheese mixture, one third of mozzarella cheese slices, then the remainder of the meat sauce, and then top with remaining one third mozzarella cheese slices and Parmesan cheese. Add extra shredded mozzarella cheese to put this dish way over the top.
10. Cover with foil. To prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
11. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes (don't overheat!).
12. Cool for 15 minutes before pigging out!
-I used Sweet Italian Turkey sausage.
-I used shredded mozzarella cheese.
-The recipe called for 60oz of Ricotta cheese but I used 15oz of Ricotta and 15oz of Light cottage cheese and it worked out just fine. I actually think that it would have been too runny with 60oz of cheese.
-I used whole grain lasagna noodles.
-I didn't use fennel seeds.
Here's what I started with: