Up until a few years ago, the only lasagna I ever had was Stouffer’s. As good as that stuff is, for some reason I thought it would be fun to learn to actually make our own lasagna. However, as I looked at different recipes, I realized that this would take a bit more work than our average dinner so we decided to wait on giving this a shot (we weren’t going to put over an hour into a regular weeknight meal, let’s just be honest). With the holiday season approaching three years ago, we thought a homemade lasagna would be perfect for our evening decorating our first Christmas tree. We were looking to create new traditions together and we thought a special meal while putting the tree up would be a lot of fun and something we could always do together. Now, it did take us a while to make the lasagna our first year and by the time it was finally ready it was late in the evening and we were starving. Thankfully we have mastered the recipe now and enjoy this time in the kitchen together as we get ready to decorate the tree and celebrate the holiday season.
- 9 uncooked lasagna noodles
- 1 package (19 1/2 ounces) Italian turkey sausage (link or whole sausage)
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 carton (15 ounces) reduced-fat ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. When finished, drain noodles and rinse in cold water.
- Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook the sausage, beef, and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, sugar, basil, fennel, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a small bowl, combine the egg, ricotta cheese, parsley, and salt.
- Spread 1 cup meat sauce into a 13×9 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with three noodles, 2 cups meat sauce, 2/3 cup ricotta cheese mixture, 2/3 cup mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Repeat layers twice.
- Cover and bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Uncover, bake 10-15 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting (this is what the original recipe recommended… we usually just eat it right away!).