Loop Sunday Lunch - Lasagna
This traditional lasagna recipe is a fail-safe winner for the family, courtesy Saving Room for Dessert:
For the sauce:
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
2 red onions, finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups red wine (optional)
2 (28-ounce) cans tomatoes, peeled
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
For the filling:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 large cloves garlic, minced
For the lasagna:
1 15-ounce container grated cheese
2 large eggs
2 cups fresh grated cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
20-24 lasagna noodles (see notes)
To make the sauce:
1. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large, heavy bottom sauce pot or Dutch oven, over low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes or until the onions are wilted. Add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant. Season with pepper. Increase the heat to medium and add the wine (optional). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the wine is mostly reduced, about 20 minutes. Crust the tomatoes into the pot (by hand) along with any canned juice. Add the tomato paste, sugar, red pepper flakes and 2 cups of warm water. Simmer, stirring occasionally, uncovered, for 1 hour.
To make the filling:
2. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the filling. In a shallow bowl or pie plate, add the flour and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the beef, parsley and garlic. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the meat for 10-15 minutes then add to the sauce. Cook for 10 more minutes then remove from heat.
To make the cheese mixture:
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheese and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
4. When ready to assemble, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a lasagna pan or deep dish 13x9-inch pan with vegetable spray. Prepare the lasagna noodles according to package directions (see note below) and set aside. To assemble the lasagna, spoon a thick layer of sauce (without meat) into the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover with a layer of noodles.
5. Spoon 1/4th of the remaining sauce on top, then sprinkle a third of the meat and a third of the cheese mixture in tablespoon sized dollops.
6. Repeat for 2 more layers, starting with a layer of noodles, 1/3 of the remaining sauce, 1/2 of the remaining meat and 1/2 of the remaining cheese.
7. Top with a layer of noodles, 1/2 the remaining sauce, the last of the meat and all the remaining cheese.
8. Top with one more layer of noodles and the remaining sauce. Sprinkled extra cheese evenly over the top. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the lasagna is bubbly and heated through. To prevent over-browning, tent loosely with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. Let lasagna stand for 15-20 minutes before serving. Pass fresh grated cheese for serving.