Mom’s Ultimate Lasagna recipe
- 2 pound dried lasagna noodles
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon fennel
- 1 cups red wine
- 1 Large Prego sauce 4 pounds and 1 small can 15 oz.
- 1 quarts ricotta cheese
- 1 quart of small curd cottage cheese
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Grated Parmesan and mozzarella, for topping
Coat a large skillet with olive oil, add onions and sauté, add beef and sausage and brown until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Season meat with salt, pepper and half the amount of spices (fennel, oregano, Italian seasoning and basil) add to meat and cook. After meat is cooked add to large pot (5-6 qt.) Add sauce; add celery, and the remaining spices (basil, parsley, oregano and fennel) stir to combine. Add the wine and simmer while preparing other ingredients. Stir mixture every 15 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, cottage and the parmesan cheese. Stir in the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate till needed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook the lasagna noodles in plenty of boiling salted water with oil until pliable and tender, about 10 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking. Drain the noodles thoroughly and coat with olive oil to keep them moist and easy to work with.
To assemble the lasagna: Coat the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch and an 8 x8 pan with olive oil. Or use an extra large disposable foil pan. Arrange noodles slightly overlapping layer on top of a small amount of sauce. Dollop 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over the pasta, spread to the edges with a spatula. Spread 1/13 of the meat mixture over the ricotta. Sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella on top of the ricotta. Top with sauce, spread evenly. Repeat with the next layer of noodles, ricotta, sauce, and cheeses. Top the last layer of lasagna with noodles, sauce, shredded mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake for 1 hour if cooking directly from making. If you freeze it, make sure it is completely thawed before cooking. It can take up to 2 hours at 350 with the last half hour at 400. Remove from oven when bubbly and brown on top. Let lasagna rest for 10 minutes so the noodles will settle and cut easily. Cut into squares and serve.