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Holiday Lasagna (12/20/2013)

Holiday Lasagna

1 lb. Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage
1 lb. lean Ground Beef
½ cup minced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2-6 oz. cans tomato paste
2-8 oz. cans tomato sauce
½ cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 oz. Ricotta or cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon salt
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet or dutch oven, brown ground beef and sausage, onion, and garlic over medium heat. Drain off excess fat. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add some salt, and cook lasagna noodles about 8 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta or cottage cheese with eggs, remaining parsley, and ½ teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.

To assemble, spread 1 ½ cups of meat sauce in bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over the meat sauce. Spread with ½ ricotta or cottage cheese mixture. Top with a third of the mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 ½ cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Add the other 6 noodles, the remain ricotta or cottage cheese mixture, and mozzarella. Add the remaining meat sauce and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil; to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bank an additional 25 minutes. Remove and cool for 15 minutes before serving.


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