Lasagne by Elizabeth

Family Recipes

This is a combination of a recipe from someone I used to work with and the "Classic Italian American Lasagne" recipe from pp. 314-315 in the Joy of Cooking, published 1997 (really the "Classic Italian American Tomato Sauce I" recipe on p. 306). I made it for a potluck we went to this weekend, and it was all gobbled up!

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground beef, as lean as possible
1/2 lb. mild/sweet Italian sausage

1 to 1-1/2 cups diced yellow onions, depending on personal preference
3-4 oz. prosciutto, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup water

1 lb. canned whole tomatoes, preferably plum (or 3-1/2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, peeled seeded, and chopped)
12 oz. tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1-2 sprigs fresh basil, optional

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 lb. ricotta cheese (part-skim is fine)
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

lasagne noodles (anywhere from 8-16 oz. depending on how many noodles you like in your lasagne)

Put the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork, beef, and sausage and brown well. Drain as much fat as possible, then add the diced onions, chopped prosciutto, and minced garlic. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring periodically, until the onions are softened--about 10 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup water and continue cooking until the water is almost evaporated and has made a little bit of sauce around the onions, about 20-25 minutes.

Add the canned tomatoes, breaking up the whole tomatoes with your fingers as you add them to the pan. Add the red wine, tomato paste, dried oregano, and basil (optional). Bring the tomato sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, for anywhere from 1-3 hours. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If you wish to cook the lasagne noodles before assembling the casserole, do so (this is not necessary if you are using fresh pasta). Reserve a handful of the mozzarella, and then in a lasagne pan (13x9x3), repeat the following layers three times:

--1/3 of the noodles
--1/3 of the ricotta cheese
--1/3 of the mozzarella cheese
--1/3 of the tomato sauce

The top layer should now be the tomato sauce. Over that, sprinkle the handful of reserved mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes until well browned and bubbly. Let stand about 15 minutes before serving.

Posted by elizabeth at July 24, 2005 09:28 PM | Printable Version
Recipe Notes