Aunt Sophie’s World’s Greatest Lasagna Recipe
This original dish makes approximately 12 servings
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean sirloin beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tbsps white sugar
1 1/2 tsps dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 tablespoons sliced fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese (or Cottage Cheese)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
PREPARATION 30 minutes
COOK 2 hrs 30 mins
ALL SET IN 3 hrs 15 minutes
In the oven, cook sausage, sirloin beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat till well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Add white sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian flavoring, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring periodically. Do not burn bottom, simmer only.
Bring a big pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Prepare lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and wash with cold water. In a mixing bowl, incorporate ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 tsp salt.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
To put together, spread out 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 Lasagna noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Leading with a third of mozzarella cheese pieces. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with continuing to be mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or see to it the foil does not touch the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes prior to serving.