I like making this for New Year’s Eve because you can make it ahead of time and then just pop it in the oven and just enjoy the evening with a nice meal without all the fuss.
Sausage and Beef Lasagna
- MEAT SAUCE:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup finely diced onion
- 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar or to taste
- 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- ASSEMBLING LASAGNA:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 unbroken lasagna noodles
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese approx. 4 cups
- To Make Meat Sauce:
- Heat a heavy 4 to 5 quart pot over medium heat.
- Add olive oil the sausage meat (casings removed) and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat until browned. Transfer to a clean bowl.
- Add ground beef with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Transfer to the bowl with sausage.
- Add onion, carrots and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the pot and cook, stirring , until softened and starting to brown.
- Add garlic, basil, and oregano to onions and carrots then cook for about 1 minute. Then add crushed tomatoes. Add sausage and beef into sauce and stir.
- Add tomato paste water, 1 tablespoon or sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Bring to a simmer and adjust sugar and salt to taste.
- Gentle simmer sauce, uncovered for 1-1/2 hours. Keep sauce at a very low simmer.
- PREPARE LASAGNA:
- Bring a large pot of salted water with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a boil. Add lasagna noodles to the boiling water and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
- In the meatime, stir ricotta with Parmesan cheese and the beaten egg.
- To assemble the lasagna, ladle about 3/4 cup of meat sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Arrange noodles lenghtwise and side by side and cover the bottom. If the noodles are shot on one end, you may need to cut an extra noodle and place into dish to cover where the other noodles have not.
- Next spread about half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles, Sprinklwe with a third of the shredded mozzarella cheese thatn top with about 1-1/14 cups of meat sauce. Add another layser of noodles and repeat. Add a third layer of noodles then top with reamining sauce and a final layer of shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover then bake 20 minutes unitl cheese is crusty around the edges.
- Let reast at least 15 minutes or more.
- Server and enjoy.
If making ahead, you can cover and refrigerate, unbaked up to 2 days. When you cover, use wax paper between the lasagna and aluminum foil. Aluminum foil can react with the tomatoes. The meat sauce can be made in advance and should last in your refrigerator up to 3 days and in your frezzer about 3 months. To thaw, leave it overnight in the refrigerator. Baked lasagna freezes well. Let it cool completely on a rack before freezing, and cover with aluminum foil. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and then bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.