Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Best Tasting Homemade Lasagna Recipe Ever


This is an updated pic from 11/1/11- after making the changes listed below.
Update: 11/2/11- I made this again and technically it was exactly how I wanted it to be. The cheese-to-sauce-to-pasta ratio was great. It had great body and was very soft and moist. However, the taste was different. This time I used pre-shredded cheeses and generic tomato products. I have to tell you that these changes completely altered the taste of the lasagna. It was still good and my husband loved it, but just tasted like ordinary lasagna to me. If you are going to go through all the trouble of making this, you should really stick to quality ingredients. It makes the all the difference in the world.


This is by far the best tasting homemade lasagna I have ever had. Okay, I may be a little biased here since I made it, but I don't think so. Normally I don't like lasagna, so I  would never make one but my husband requested that I do. Like usual, I scoured the internet for recipes and advice on techniques on how to make it great. I settled on this recipe because I liked all the ingredients and because it had so many rave reviews. I got it off of allrecipes.com from John Chandler.


Right off the bat I changed a couple things. I added a little more cheese and switched from regular sweet Italian sausage to a sweet turkey Italian sausage. I used crushed tomatoes with basil instead of regular (because that's all they had all the store) and I also added a pinch of nutmeg to the cheese mixture. Besides that I kept everything the same. When making a recipe for the first time I really try not to mess with the ingredients too much because if it tastes "off" for some reason I won't really know why.


I highly recommend this lasagna recipe and don't even feel compelled to try another. Next time I make it I will make a few more adjustments. I am going to list the recipe exactly how I made it this time but before I do, I will list the suggestions I have to make it even better.

  • Make sure the ground meat is broken up well so there aren't any large chunks.
  • Start by adding only a little salt at a time, tasting each time  you do. It can get very salty, very fast.
  • Increase the amount of cheese by at least 1/2 cup on all cheeses. 
  • Shred the mozzarella instead of slicing it to make a more even layer. 
  • Add at least 2 cups of sauce mixture on each layer. 
  • Try to have at least 3 sauce layers.
  • Make sure the last layer of noodles is covered with sauce.
  • Top with a generous portion of cheeses.
Ingredients:

1 pound sweet turkey Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes with basil
2 (6 ounce) cans of tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans of tomato sauce
1/2 cup of water
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon for fresh ground black pepper
4 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces of ricotta cheese
1 egg 
a pinch of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound of mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 cup of freshly grated aged Parmesan cheese 

Recipe:

In a large pot or Dutch Oven cook sausage, ground beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning 1 tablespoon of salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of parsley. Cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water.

In a mixing bowl combine ricotta cheese, egg, nutmeg, parsley and 1/2 teaspoons of salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees f. 

To make layers spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. 


Arrange noodles lengthwise over meat sauce
 (I put one on the end too). 


Spread 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture on top of noodles. 


Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. 


Spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce over mozzarella then 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Repeat layers, making sure to top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. 

Cover with non-stick foil or spray foil with non-stick cooking spray to prevent cheese from sticking to it. 

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, remove foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving. 



It tastes even better reheated the next day!!


2 comments:

  1. You could also try making your own, handmade lasagna noodles. If you do you'll have a really soft lasagna.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete