The magic of this lasagna recipe begins with a luscious flavorsome meat sauce just like those served in rustic Italian restaurants. The rich, creamy homemade filling is made with Ricotta, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese. This is the absolute best homemade meat lasagna recipe. It’s legendary!
INGREDIENTS – MEAT SAUCE
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2–3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 3 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 14.5 ounce can beef broth
- 1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar (or good Italian red wine)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 bay leaves
INGREDIENTS – RICOTTA FILLING + NOODLES
- 1 32-ounce container of Ricotta cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 cups freshly-grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano
- 1 pound grated Mozzarella cheese, divided
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 box lasagna noodles (16–17 noodles), cooked according to package directions
DIRECTIONS FOR MEAT SAUCE
- In a heavy pan with lid, cook the ground beef and Italian sausage over medium heat until there is no pink. While browning the meat, use a wooden spatula to break it up into small pieces. Drain off the fat. Transfer the meat to a bowl.
- Add olive oil to the pan. Saute onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook until veggies are tender. Add meat back to the pan. Add Italian parsley, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, apple cider vinegar, sugar, all of the spices and the bay leaves. Stir to mix ingredients. Once the meat sauce begins to boil lightly, wait about two minutes then cover the pot with a lid and dial down the heat to low. Allow meat sauce to simmer and reduce for 2-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
DIRECTIONS FOR RICOTTA FILLING
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the Ricotta cheese, eggs, Italian parsley leaves, Parmesan cheese, and half of the mozzarella cheese (reserve the second half of the mozzarella cheese for topping the lasagna later). Mix well.
- Season the mixture with salt and pepper then mix again.
DIRECTIONS FOR LASAGNA ASSEMBLY
- Adjust oven rack to the center position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 9X13 baking dish with butter.
- As a base foundation for the lasagna, ladle a bit of meat sauce onto the bottom of the lasagna pan and spread it out evenly. Your legendary lasagna will be created with 3 layers of noodles/sauce/filling. Place an even layer of lasagna noodles over the thin base layer of sauce. Spread meat sauce on top of the noodles. Spread Ricotta filling on top of the meat sauce. Continue layering until all ingredients have been used and there are three nice layers. Evenly sprinkle the remaining Mozzarella cheese over the top of the lasagna.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Once your lasagna is removed from the oven, allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Category: Lunch, Dinner, Potluck, Party
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian, American
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