We have four different variations of lasagna, and this one is all about fresh ingredients. It calls for our basic spaghetti sauce that can you used for many different pasta dishes.
Every time we make this lasagna, people ask us for the recipe. It is simply delightful!
For the canned tomatoes, we love using San Marzano. They are from Italy and the absolute best. They are whole tomatoes, so thats why we call for putting them in the blender to start.
And for the onions, we have the best way to dice them. Cut off one end and peel back the top layer. Then make 3 slits down, 3 slits across. Finally dice down and they end up being the perfect size!
Now for the sausage, we love using Colosimos. But this is a Utah brand, so you may not be able to find it in other places. You can go ahead and use any brand. We suggest taking the sausage out of the casing. This will help bring out more flavor.
And finally, our favorite pasta brand is De Cecco. Although we cannot always find it, we stock up anytime we do! Homemade lasagna noodles are the absolute best option, but sometimes this just isn't possible. Its nice to keep some noodles on hand for busy nights!
- 3 14 oz cans diced tomatoes ((Italian tomatoes if possible))
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup white or yellow onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 pound 3 ounce package mild Italian Sausage links (casings removed)
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp oregano (dried)
- 1/2 tsp basil (dried)
- 1/2 tsp thyme (dried)
- 1 tsp French salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 pound lasagna noodles (cooked)
- 1 15 oz carton Whole Ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese (grated)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 4 cups Mozzarella cheese (grated)
- 3 tbsp butter
Put the tomatoes in a blender and pulse 4 or 5 seconds to crush. Set aside .
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute and stir until the onion is soft. Increase the heat to medium high and add the sausage. Continue to cook, stirring until the sausage is browned. Stir in the tomato paste with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture starts sticking to the pan, about 5 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and bay leaf. Mix well. Stir in the water. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer uncovered for an hour. (May simmer up to 2 hours, adding in more water periodically if the sauce gets too thick.
Remove the noodles from the package and cook according to package directions. Drain. Lay out the cooked pasta in a single layer on a 15-inch sheet of aluminum foil to cool. (The foil will be re-used to cover the baking dish.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Greece a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Mix the ricotta, parmesan, eggs, and pepper in a medium size bowl. Assemble the lasagna.
Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce in the prepared baking dish. Arrange 5 noodles lengthwise over the sauce, over lapping the edges. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture and sprinkle 1 1/3 cups of mozzarella cheese over the pasta.
Repeat the layers two more times, ending with the mozzarella. Dot the butter around the edges. Cover with the foil and bake 35-40 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.