Prep 30 mins
Cook 3 hrs
I have been making this lasagna for over 20 years. Everyone seems to love this recipe. It came from a 1973 McCalls cookbook.
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 1⁄2 lb ground beef
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄4 cup parsley
- 4 cups canned tomatoes, undrained or 1 (35 ounce) can Italian-style tomatoes
- 2 cans tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 12 curly lasagna noodles
- 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 lb mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 3⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- Remove sausage from casings, chop the meat.
- In 5-qt Dutch oven, over medium heat, saute sausage, ground beef, onion and garlic.
- Break up beef with wooden spoon.
- Stir frequently, until well browned- 20 minutes.
- Add sugar, 1TBSP salt, basil, pepper, and half the parsley; mix well.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste and 1/2 cup water, mashing tomatoes with wooden spoon.
- Bring to boiling; reduce heat; simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, until thick- 1-1/2hours.
- In large 8qt pot, bring 3qts water and 1TBSP salt to boiling.
- Add lasagna noodes, 2 or 3 at a time.
- Return to boiling; boil uncovered and stirring occasionally, 10 minutes, or just until tender.
- Drain in colander; rinse under cold water.
- Dry lasagna on paper towels.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, remaining parsley, and salt; mix.
- In bottom of 13x9" baking dish, spoon 1-1/2 cups sauce.
- Layer with 6 lasagna noodes, lengthwise and overlapping, to cover.
- Spread with 1/2 of ricotta mixture; top with 1/3 of the mozzarella.
- Spoon 1-1/2 cups sauce over cheese; sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmsesan cheese.
- Repeat layering, starting with 6 lasagna noodes and ending with 1-1/2 cups sauce sprinkled with Parmesen.
- Spread with remaining sauce, top with rest of mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Cover with foil.
- Bake 25 minutes; remove foil; bake, uncovered, 25 minutes longer or until bubbly.
- Cool 15 minutes before serving.
As most ‘zaar “old-timers” are aware, I have to keep my salt intake to an absolute minimum and so I was forced to make a couple of minor substitutions – I used ½ lb. ground beef, ½ lb. Italian sausage and ½ lb. chorizo sausage; I used sodium-free canned tomatoes and added my own Italian spices and; I skipped the tablespoon of salt (none of the diners seemed to notice the absence). Also, I used MeanChef’s Theory Of Garlic Calculation (“if the recipe calls for 2 cloves of garlic, use 5 or 6”). The recipe’s only minor shortcoming is that it required closer to a full pound of mozzarella and a little over a full cup of grated parmesan (well, ok, I admit that the parmesan thing is simply due to the fact that I love to go hog-wild with the stuff). The recipe’s crowning glory was the fact that one dinner guest remarked, “I can see the ricotta cheese and I cannot believe that I am going back for seconds, because I hate ricotta!” Thank you so much for a superb lasagna, Kathy.
What a great classic lasagna! My whole family loved it! I only made a few changes to your recipe. I only had 1/2 lb. Italian sausage on hand, so I increased the ground beef to 1 lb.. Also, I did not add water to the sauce, because I was running out of time and didn't want to wait for it to cook down. The taste was still incredible, although I only let it simmer for about 45 minutes. I will definitely be making this one again! Thanks for sharing!
I too have been making this lasagna for 20 years from the same cookbook. My family won't eat any other. Over the years I have learned to modify for organic, vegetarian or shortcuts. One shortcut I use is high quality jar sauce. I will also spice up my sausage some with additional fennel seed and crushed red pepper. I always prep the lasagna a day ahead and bake it the next day. Sets up like a picture and makes a very easy meal for entertaining.