"World's Best" Lasagna

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"World's Best" Lasagna adapted Big Oven
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:

Here's how I did it:

#1  I sliced up some mushrooms, diced an onion and smashed up 4 garlic cloves.

#3 They went into a dutch oven with some olive oil to brown up.

#4 While the onions, garlic and mushroome were cooking.  I took the Italian sausage and removed it from the casings.

#5 Once the onions were browned, the sausage went in.

#6 After the sausage was browned, the crushed tomatoes, tomatoe sauce, fresh parsley, fresh basil, salt, pepper and sugar went in.  Covered and simmered on low for about 45 minutes.

#7 After the sauce had simmered for about 45 minutes to an hour, I preheated the oven to 375 and put some lasagna noodles on to boil.  Once finished, I drained them and rinsed them off with cold water.

#8  I mixed 1 15oz container of Ricotta cheese and 1 15oz container of Light cottage cheese with 4 eggs.

#9 Next came the layering.  I sprayed the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and spread out the meat mixture, noodles, cheese mixture and shredded mozzarella cheese.  After the final layer, Parmesan cheese went on the top.

#10 I covered with tin foil and it went into the oven for 25 minutes and then the tin foil came off for another 20 minutes.

The Finished Product


This was fantastic; however, it was very labor intensive.  I have a horrible habit of not reading the recipes, other than the ingredients, until it is time to actually make the dish.  I didn't see that the sauce was supposed to cook for 1 1/2 hours!  I just let it simmer for 45 minutes and it still tasted great.  I would say that it would be acceptable to use jarred marinara sauce but I really think you need to keep the onions, garlic, mushrooms, basil and parsley.  

The Sweet Italian sausage tasted good but Scott said that he couldn't tell that it was turkey so you could probably get away with any kind of ground meat (turkey, sausage, pork or beef).

Hope you enjoy!


Haven's Mom said...

Yum!!! Thanks for sharing!! :)

Chris said...

Looks good April. We haven't had lasagna in a while but this makes me crave some.

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