The REAL DEAL Lasagna

Recipe serves 9 generously. I frequently quadruple the recipe and freeze 3 pans for future use. DO NOT cook if freezing.

For the sauce:
¼ cup olive oil, extra virgin
2 tbsp. finely chopped, fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
½ lb. ground chuck
¼ lb. ground Pork
1 large can (28 oz.)Italian (Roma) Tomatoes (undrained)
(2) 6 oz. cans tomato paste
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. salt
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
¼ tsp. pepper

Saute onion, garlic and parsley in ¼ cup olive oil until tender and onions are translucent. Add ground pork and ground chuck, sauté until browned. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt, oregano basil, pepper, mix well, mashing tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Sauce (as above)
½ box lasagna noodles
1 lb. ricotta
1 lb. mozzarella, sliced thinly
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan (Regiano preferred)
¼ cup vegetable oil

Cook the noodles in salted water until JUST al dente. It is better that they be under- cooked than over-cooked. Immediately cool under running cold water. Toss noodles in oil to and return to pan of cool water; keep separate during assembly.

Using a 2 ½ - 3 inch high, 9 X 12 pan assemble as follows:
Ladle sauce on bottom to cover pan. Follow with a layer of noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, sauce, Parmesan. Use three layers in all, ending with sauce and Parmesan. (I usually alternate the direction of the noodles as it seems to help the finished product maintain its shape) Bake at 350°, 45-50 mins. and allow to rest 10 minutes before cutting (this will allow it to firm up)
If you're freezing extra uncooked lasagna, wrap in plastic followed with foil. Frozen lasagna can be cooked directly from the freezer. Cooking time will be 1 hr. 15 mins. Since trying to spread the ricotta can be a problem I pipe it on with a pastry bag, making a crosshatch pattern. If you don't have a pastry bag, use a large zip-lock with a ½ inch cut from one corner.

Serve with fresh garlic bread, a cold tossed green salad of baby spinach with sliced cremini mushrooms with a balsamic vinaigrette and a nice Merlot
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Volume 1, Issue 9, Posted 03.43 AM / 20th October 2005.