Thursday, February 14, 2008

Creamy, Cheesy Lasagna

I found a great lasagna recipe on another food blog (thanks, doctorannie!) and tweaked it a bit to fit mine and my husband's taste. The results were delicious...possibly the best lasagna I've ever tasted. This recipe is a lot of work, but if you're a family of two, it'll feed you for quite a few days.

12 lasagna noodles
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage
1/2 lb. ground sirloin beef
1 large white onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 8 oz. cans tomato paste
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 lb. ricotta cheese
5 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 eggs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add lasagna noodles. Cook appox. 8-9 minutes, stirring carefully occasionally, then drain. Peel and chop onion and grind in food processor. Remove sausages from casings and mash together with a fork. In a large pan, pour a few tablespoons of olive oil and heat over high heat. Add ground onion, garlic, sausage, and ground sirloin, stirring well. Once sausage and sirloin are browned, reduce heat to medium low and add tomato paste, crushed tomato, cream, Italian seasoning, basil, and oregano. Stir well and then lower heat to low and allow to simmer. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, 2 cups of the mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, eggs, salt, and pepper. In a deep 9x13" lasagna pan, pour 2 cups of the tomato and meat sauce and spread evenly. Layer 4 lasagna noodles on top, followed by half of the cheese mixture (be sure to spread evenly), 1/3 of the remaining tomato meat sauce, then 4 more noodles, the other half of the cheese mixture, another 1/3 of the tomato meat sauce, and then finally, the last 4 noodles and the remaining tomato meat sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 3 cups or as much as you need of the remaining mozzarella evenly over the top of the lasagna. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue to cook for 10 more minutes.

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