Do You Love Lasagna? ( We do!)
I must say, one of Whitney’s best recipes is Lasagna. It may be a little bit different every time, but she builds on that goodness with each new take on it. For instance, adding crushed fennel to this recipe was a stroke of genius that gives the meat a new depth of flavor that we all love! Early on, when kids were babies, we didn’t have the opportunities to have a “date night” out. But, we had our own “date nights” at home cooking some questionable “Pinterest easy crock pot meals” that were tougher to swallow than to make. From time to time, we would crack open a bottle of wine and experiment with some more savory dishes like Lasagna! This most recent recipe is my fave, by far. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
1/4 cup EVOO
2 medium onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic minced (2 Tbsp)
1/2 bunch fresh basil (6-8 sprigs) stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1 Tbps kosher salt
5 28 oz Cans of your favorite crushed tomato’s
1 lb of beef
1 lb Italian sausage
3 Tbsp oregano
3 Tbsp parsley (plus a little for garnish)
1 tsp fennel (crush in your hand over meat)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 lb ricotta or cottage cheese or a blend of both
1 package of sliced mozzarella or shredded mozzarella.
2 boxes of no cook lasagna noodles
Red Sauce (thanks Lisa Schroeder and Mother’s Best!)
Heat the EVOO and onion in a large sauce pan, over medium-high heat. Saute until very soft or about 12 mins.
Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, 1 to 2 mins. Do not let it brown (turn down the heat if you see browning)
Add the tomato’s and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add the basil and cook 5 minutes more.
Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender (or cool a little and blend in food processor or blender) emulsify the tomato’s until they are smooth.
In a separate large sauce pan, add both meats and brown over medium heat. Add oregano, parsley, and fennel (crushed between hands over meat). Continue to stir until browned.
Combine ricotta or cottage cheese or a blend of both with salt and pepper, 1 tsp parsley, 1 tsp basil, and 1 tsp of oregano. Blend again.
Put it all together!
Preheat oven to 350. In a 9 x 7 x 3 foil pan or 9 x 13 casserole, add a little sauce to the bottom and dole out a little spread and coat. Layer noodles in a criss cross pattern to the top with a layer of sauce and spread in between. Top with sliced or shredded mozzarella and bake in oven for 1 hour. Top with fresh parsley and serve.