The best lasagna recipe ever
You know how most of my recipes are super simple and dirty as few of dishes as possible? This is not one of those recipes. In fact, I take absolutely zero credit for this recipe. My mom, who is a wonderful cook, makes the best lasagna in the world. Seriously. It’s so good, we’ve eaten it for Christmas dinner on more than one occasion. Just look at it! This is everything a good lasagna should be: cheesy, meaty, and full of flavor.
This takes hours. (Three and a half hours, to be exact, but much of that is hands off.) This makes a lot of dishes. And it’s 100% worth it. If you’re looking for that perfect simmer-all-day-on-Sunday lasagna, you’ve found it.
We have a few components here. First, the homemade meat sauce, which my mom has spent years perfecting. It makes the whole house smell so inviting. The sauce simmers for about an hour and a half total.
While your sauce is simmering, you’ll want to cook your lasagna noodles. This takes longer than you think it’s going to because you really only want to cook 2-3 noodles at a time and they typically take 5-6 minutes per batch.
Next is the ricotta mixture. Easy. Just a few ingredients whisked together in a little bowl.
Finally, we have the cheese: parmesan and mozzarella. You really want to get a nice quality mozzarella ball, not the pre-sliced stuff you’d put on sandwiches (and definitely not pre-grated mozzarella). My dad happens to be an expert mozzarella slicer and parmesan grater.
Once you have all of your components, you put the layers together. This is the fun part! When I was little, my mom always let me “help” with this part. I must have slowed her down so much but hey, look at me now! I cook for her all the time so I think it was worth it in the end.
Put it in the oven for 40 minutes and you’ve got the best lasagna you’ve ever had in your life. Every time – every time – my mom hands me a serving, I think, geez, this is a huge slice. No way can I eat all of this! And I always always get seconds. After all, Mama Rose Table’s Lasagna is a culinary event. See for yourself!
Mama Rose Table’s Lasagna
1.5 lbs ground round
1/2 lbs Italian sausage
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dried basil leaves
1 Tbsp oregano leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 can (35 oz) Italian-style tomatoes
2 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp garlic powder
12 lasagna noodles
1 tsp salt
1 carton (15 oz) ricotta cheese (full fat)
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 lbs mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Remove sausage from casing and chop. Brown sausage and ground round in a dutch oven with onion and garlic over medium heat. Add sugar, salt, dried basil, dried oregano, and half of parsley. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, and water. Bring mixture to a boil, mashing tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. Add garlic powder and simmer for another half hour. Keep sauce warm until ready to assemble.
- When you’ve got about half an hour left on the sauce, start cooking The noodles. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Cook three noodles at a time according to package directions. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately rinse under cold water. Set noodles individually on paper towels while you cook the next batch. Continue until you have twelve cooked noodles.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta, egg, remaining parsley, and a pinch of salt.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 9×13 pan, spoon 2 cups of sauce. Place six noodles lengthwise on top, overlapping to cover the sauce. Carefully spread half of ricotta mixture on top of the noodles and top with 1/3 of the mozzarella. Spoon another 2 cups of sauce over the cheese and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Add remaining six noodles and spread with remaining ricotta mixture. Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella, then the remainder of the sauce. Add the rest of the mozzarella slices and parmesan cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake covered for 25 minutes with a cookie sheet underneath. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges. Cool for 15 minutes, sprinkle with more Italian parsley, and serve.
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