Being the nice Italian girl I am, I love my lasagna and so does everyone I cook it for. I have actually had people ask to come over and watch me make it, since they can't duplicate it. I have never allowed this to happen yet. I prefer to glide on my laurels and pretend I slave over a hand rolling pasta maker and sweat over the sauce for hours.
Faithful readers, I am a modern Dago type girl. It's all smoke and mirrors and the right dose of love that goes into cooking.
Okay, for the first time ever. Here is how I make lasagna.
I don't screw around with making sauce from tomato paste I've sieved myself. Go buy a big jar of Ragu traditional. Buy a pound of lean ground beef and a half pound of lean ground pork or veal. Buy a box of Barilla no bake flat lasagna noodles. They've got to be Barilla. It's the best for this.
Okay other than what is listed above, here is what you need.
Half pound fresh grated romano cheese
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
16 oz Ricotta chesse
Garlic cloves (a big bunch)
1 medium size white onion
Italian seasoning (you can buy a jar premixed)
2 cups mozzarella
1 cup red wine (Classico Chiante is good)
Fresh ground black pepper
Chop the garlic and onion or put it through the food processer. Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy skillet and heat it til it jumps. Add the garlic and onion over medium heat and saute until tender. Add the ground meat and brown slowly, adding garlic powder, Italian Seasonings and pepper to taste. Drain fat off meat. Add Ragu and wine and cook over medium high heat until it cooks down and thickens. Usually about 20 minutes. Have a glass of wine while you wait and stir.
Spray an oven pan 12x9 or so or one of those handy Glad throw away cooking dishes with Pam, liberally. Preheat oven to 350.
Mix the ricotta and parmesan and romano with the egg and parsley in a bowl.
When your sauce has thickened, layer a thin layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Put a layer of noodles on top. Put a thick layer of the cheese on top of that, another layer of sauce and another layer of noodles. Sauce, noodles, cheese, noodles. Repeat until the pan is full. Should have a thin layer of sauce on top to finish. Use your good judgement. Sprinkle the mozzarella and some more romano and parmesan chesse on top with a few parsley sprinkles. Cover tightly with tinfoil and bake for 55 minutes. Have a glass of the Classico Chianti because you deserve it. Make breaksticks (found in another blog recipe here). Toss the salad. After 55 minutes, take the cover off the lasagna and let it brown in the oven until the cheese is toasty.
Let it sit about 15 minutes so it can settle.
Let your palate be your guide. If you don't like a lot of garlic, ease up on it. If you love the romano and parmesan chesese, use extra. Same as the fresh ground pepper. Taste the sauce as it is cooking so you know if you need to add. (You can buy the nifty pepper mills now in the grocery store.) The most important thing with lasagna is that it is a dish full of the love you show your guests and family.
Good luck and let me know how it turns out.