I have been making this Lasagna Recipe ever since I was a teenager. It was my dad’s favorite meal, so I made it a lot. I’ve made changes from the original recipe, so we have called it Annette’s Lasagna ever since! I’ve incorporated some tips and tricks from my Italian relatives, so it’s pretty traditional.
This recipe is made with a homemade, slow cooked “gravy”. That’s what the Italians call tomato sauce. Also, I know that Lasagne should be spelled just like that, but here in the states we spell it Lasagna. Lasagne is the plural use and Lasagna is the singular use. There, you learned something new today!
You can choose to make the sauce in the crock pot, and make your house smell amazing all day long, or you can make it in a sauce pan on the stove. You’re choice, but I would choose the crock pot, because then you don’t have to worry about it burning.
Annette’s Lasagna Recipe:
1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage, you’re choice
1 small onion, diced
1- 28 oz. can tomatoes
1- 12 oz. can tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic or one clove garlic minced
1 bay leaf (do not break up)
about 14 lasagna noodles
1- 15 oz. container ricotta cheese (please DO NOT use cottage cheese, yuck!)
1 teaspoon parsley
about 6 cups shredded or diced mozzarella cheese
1. In a frying pan, fry the beef or Italian sausage with the diced onion and crumble until browned through.
2. Add the beef or sausage to your crock pot or 5-quart dutch oven.
3. Add canned tomatoes, with their juices and the next 8 ingredients.
4. Turn on low heat in the crock pot and cook for up to 8 hours stirring every so often breaking up the whole tomatoes. (Don’t break up the bay leaf)
5. If you are using the stove top, bring the sauce mixture to a boil. Stirring to break up the tomatoes. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer the sauce cooks, the better it will taste.
6. Discard the bay leaf. Spoon off any fat that accumulated on top of sauce.
7. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.
8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a 9×13 baking pan, add a large spoonful of sauce to the pan and spread out. This will keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
9. Add a layer of noodles.
10. Mix the ricotta cheese with the eggs and a teaspoon of parsley. I used Italian seasoning for this one because I was out of parsley.
11. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles.
12. Sprinkle 2 cups of mozzarella cheese next.
13. Add 1/3 of the sauce and spread evenly over cheese.
14. Repeat the process 2 more times. Noodles, ricotta, cheese, sauce. End with Cheese on top.
15. Bake the lasagna for about 30-45 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly in center.
16. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Serve with Caesar salad and garlic bread.