Sara's Traditional Lasagna
With Homemade Sauce
When you have some time to spare, here's a delicious lasagna recipe to try. You'll find the hard work is worth it when you taste it.
The flavor of beef, the binding qualities of veal, and the succulence of pork sausage combine to make this meaty lasagna light and juicy. Don't be tempted to cut a caloric corner by substituting lean ground beef. The amount of fat in the beef affects the moisture as well as the texture of the cooked dish.
Make the sauce: Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion and cook, stirring, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in sausage, beef, and veal and cook, stirring and breaking up larger pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, with their juice, salt, and pepper, bring to a simmer, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
Make the filling: Stir together ricotta, egg, Parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl until combined. Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat oven to 375ºF. Oil a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
Assemble the lasagna: Spread 1 1/4 cups sauce in baking dish. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles, slightly overlapping, over sauce, then spread one third of ricotta mixture over noodles. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over ricotta, then spread 1 1/4 cups sauce over Parmesan. Top with 4 more noodles and spread with another one third of ricotta mixture and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Top with 4 more noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, and 1 1/4 cups sauce. Top with remaining 4 noodles, then spread with remaining sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella.
Cover lasagna with buttered foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake until top is bubbling and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Courtesy of "The Gourmet Cookbook"