I try really hard to make things when one of My Boys specifically asks for something for dinner. Many times it's a tried-and-true recipe that they just love... other times it's something that I have't made with much success but they just get the idea in their head that it's something they just have to have. You know how cravings can be!
When My Youngest requested lasagna after I had made fresh pasta a few weeks ago, I started reading various recipes for homemade lasagna in every source I could find. After pulling out what I thought would work well for our tastes, I ended up coming up with a pretty awesome dish!
I actually made this on a Sunday with the intention of making it the following night... but, as often happens our plans changed and I had to push it another day. I think this actually gave it just the right amount of time to allow the flavors to marry together and make it as satisfying as it was when I served it.
This isn't a dish to prepare on a weeknight, rather you should set aside a weekend afternoon. You'll want to make the sauce from scratch and let it simmer for an hour so that it becomes thick and full of flavor.
After the sauce is finished and cooled just a little bit, you can easily assemble the lasagna into the cheesy layers we all know and love. Cover it up and let it chill in the fridge until the next day... or even another day later! It'll take an hour in the oven after all this chillin', but it will come out moist and bubbly.
Everyone enjoyed this recipe so, I know it will be requested again in the coming weeks. It's really simple to put together, so don't let the many ingredients fool you. You will be rewarded with a lasagna your family will love!
This recipe is an ideal make-ahead meal. All steps can be done up to 2 days in advance, then cover and place in the refrigerator. While oven is preheating to 375 degrees, allow the dish to come sit at room temperature. Then, bake covered for 30 minutes. Finally, remove the cover and allow to finish baking another 30 minutes.
- 9 lasagna noodles
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage (use either hot or sweet, depending on your family's taste)
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 3 tablespoons celery, diced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup brown chicken stock
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
- 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
- In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and break up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once it is thoroughly cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add onions, carrots and celery to the pan and allow to cook until softened. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, allow to cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the wine and raise the temperature to high so that it comes to a boil. Allow to reduce by half; then add chicken stock, tomatoes and Rosemary.
- Return the sausage to the tomato mixture and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer partially covered for 1 hour.
- Remove the Rosemary sprigs and the parsley.
- While the tomato mixture is simmering, cook the lasagna noodles according to package instructions. Once done, drain and lay lay on wax paper until needed.
- Combine the egg, ricotta and oregano until thoroughly mixed together.
- Spread about 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish, add 3 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Cover the noodles with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture; then sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and approximately 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat these layers 2 more times.
- Top with remaining sauce followed by the rest of the cheese.
- If baking right away, preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake covered for 25 minutes. Then, remove the cover and allow to make for another 25 minutes until bubbly.
Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.