Friday, November 4, 2011

Food Friday - Homemade Lasagna

Yes, I know, everyone has their favorite lasagna, right?  Well, I think mine is the best so I thought I would share it!  This is the same lasagna that I grew up on and, nothing quite compares.  Ok, there is one other - it is from Dave's Meat Market in Grand Rapids, MI.  He has a lasagna that is to die for - hands down, the best piece of Lasagna I've ever eaten - it is so good, we don't make anything to go with it so we can eat more HA!  But, since we don't get that very often (my husband used to get a few pan every few weeks when he used to deliver there!) I need to have a back up and this is it! 

Homemade Lasagna
adapted from Betty Crocker

Lasagna is a favorite in our house in the fall and winter.  I used to always wonder why I didn't make it more because it is actually really easy so now, we have it at least once a month.  A few things about this recipe - even though the actual recipe is for a 9x13 pan - I use a 8x8 pan, use the full filling amount but about half the noodles.  If I want a 9x13 pan, I double the recipe :-)  (The first time I made it years ago, I did not double it and it was so skimpy - not the way my mom made it.  So the next time, I doubled it . . .and have never regretted it! )Also, I do not cook the noodles nor do I buy the "special" noodles - I just put the hard noodles in and cook it up - it turns out perfect.  It is also great for making a day ahead. 

1 lb bulk Italian pork sausage   (or you could use ground beef but the sausage is so good!)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon 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 or small-curd cottage cheese (2 cups) (We personally use cottage cheese but that is just us!)
1/4  cup grated Parmesan cheese
1  tablespoon 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
1. In 10-inch skillet, cook sausage, onion and garlic over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage 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 350ºF. Cook and drain noodles as directed on package.
4. In medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and the oregano.
5. Spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture in ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Top with 4 noodles. Spread 1 cup of the cheese mixture over noodles; spread with 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.
6. Cover; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake about 15 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.