I make lasagna sometimes for company. It's yummy, filling, and you can save time, and stress, by making it ahead of time, and then baking when needed. I think this allows the flavors to blend better, as well. I try to avoid overly-salted food, so when I make this, I use no-salt-added tomato sauce (but I do use regular tomato paste and crushed tomatoes). This makes a great meal with some focaccia and a green salad, or some steamed green beans or broccoli.
1 pound extra- lean ground beef
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 medium/large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1 (14.5 ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
9 oven-ready lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
8 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a large pan, 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, Italian seasoning, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (or 190 degrees C).*
3. To assemble, spread 2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with some of the mozzarella/provolone cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella/provolone, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining sauce, mozzarella, provolone and Parmesan cheese. (You may have some mozzerella and/or provolone left over). Cover with foil sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
*To prepare ahead of time, assemble lasagna completely, and cover with cooking spray-lined foil. Refrigerate. When ready to bake, heat oven to 375 (or 190 C). Bake for 40 minutes; uncover and continue baking for 20 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is starting to brown on top.