Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Once again, my life has been saved by the miracle of lasagna.

Every year I ask hubby what he wants for his birthday dinner . . . full well knowing what his answer will be but asking anyway . . . what does he want?  Lasagna.  And not just any ol' lasagna.  He wants a meaty, cheesy and spicy lasagna.   Kind of like a lasagna fra diavolo.  

I make the sauce from scratch, making it spicy of course.  But you can use jarred sauce if that makes it easier (and it does).  

The secret is spicy meat, spicy sauce and don't skimp on the cheese.  This lasagna ROCKS!

World's Best Spicy Lasagna

1 Pound Hot Italian Sausage
1 Pound Lean Ground Beef
1/2 Cup Minced Onion
2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
1 (28 Ounce) Can Crushed Tomatoes
2 (6 Ounce) Cans Tomato Paste
2 (6.5 Ounce) Cans Canned Tomato Sauce
1/2 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons White Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons Dried Basil Leaves
1 Tablespoon Salt
2 Tablespoon Hot Pepper Flakes
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
4 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
12 Lasagna Noodles
16 Ounces Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Pound Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced
1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or fresh)
Pepperoni Slices
3 Cups Shredded Italian Cheese (provolone, mozzarella, etc.)

In a skillet, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, spices and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices.  Top with pepperoni slices.  

Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top shredded 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 bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Once again, my life has been saved by the miracle of lasagna. 


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