I obviously made this before I started the Whole30. My SIL and her boyfriend were in town for a few days during the Christmas holiday. Since my MIL was handling Christmas dinner, I decided to make dinner the day before Christmas Eve for everyone. And considering my MIL is full Italian American, her approval in my lasagna meant a lot.
My mom used to make a bunch of lasagnas at the beginning of the winter and freeze them to have through the spring. I started making them on my own in college from memory and it has evolved into one of mine and the Hubs' favorite meals. (It is also a favorite of some of my friends that do not even eat pork.)
I have a four-inch deep lasagna pan but I adjusted the ingredients below keeping in mind that your probably have about a three inch pan. But really, it is about ratios. The Hubs loves ricotta (it is really the only cheese he goes crazy for) so I add a bit more of that. But if you like more meat, add more meat.
What I really think makes this recipe, however, is the tomato sauce. I make my own sauce, freeze what I don't eat, and then defrost it for this recipe. You can use sauce from the store but it will not be the same. Don't make your sauce on the same day - it will take you forever. Make it a few weekends before, freeze what you don't use, and you will be much happier.
SPICY MEAT LASAGNA
serves 10 - 12
1 lb. dried lasagna noodles
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. dried basil
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground hot Italian sausage
6 oz. tomato paste
30 oz. ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp. dried parsley
salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for topping
5 c. tomato sauce
1 lb. mozzarella cheese plus extra for topping
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Cook lasagna noodles in boiling, salted water until barely tender. You do not want them to get to al dente - they will cook while in the oven as well. Drain noodles in a colander and make sure to coat all sides of noodles with EVOO so they do not stick and stay moist.
While noodles are cooking, heat EVOO in pan. Cook onions for 4 minutes and then add garlic, basil, and oregano. Cook for another minute. Cook beef and sausage until cooked through, for about 20 minutes. Drain fat and then stir in tomato paste. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir in eggs. Fold in Parmesan.
Coat the bottom of a 13x9 pan with tomato sauce. Arrange four noodles lengthwise, making sure they overlap a bit. Then add a lasagna noodle to the end of each pan perpendicular to the other noodles, making sure to also overlap a bit. Add half of the meat mixture over noodles. Then spread half of the ricotta over meat. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella on top. Then coat with tomato sauce. Repeat the same way with noodles, meat, cheese and sauce. Then top with noodles, sauce, and extra mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake for 1 hour and then remove from oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
Enjoy with a nice glass of red wine and a side salad. Buon appetito!