I have long been a fan of Tyler Florence’s recipes, so when I knew some friends would be coming over for dinner, I went to the Food Network website to find his best lasagna. And my goodness, did it not disappoint. In fact, I’ve tried out many lasagna recipes through the years, and this one might be my new favorite.
It has such a wonderful balance of ingredients and a perfect cheese-to-sauce-to-noodle ratio. Follow the directions below, but if you’re into adding a secret ingredient, fry up some smoky bacon (3-4 strips), chop, and mix it in with the beef and Italian sausage. It adds such a subtle, smoky flavor to the dish. Other than that, just enjoy this tasty lasagna recipe. It’s a great one.
1 pound dried lasagna noodles
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground Italian sausage
6 ounces tomato paste, (1 can)
30 ounces ricotta cheese, (2 containers)
1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups tomato sauce, prepared
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
Grated Parmesan and mozzarella, for topping
1. Cook the lasagna noodles in plenty of boiling salted water until pliable and barely tender, about 10 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking. Drain the noodles thoroughly, coat with olive oil keep them moist and easy to work with.
2. Coat a large skillet with olive oil. Sauté over medium heat, onion, garlic and herbs. Cook 5 minutes. Brown beef and sausage until no longer pink, about 15 minutes. Drain fat into a small container and discard. Stir in the tomato paste completely. Set aside to cool.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, parsley and oregano. Stir in beaten eggs. Add Parmesan, season with salt and pepper.
4. To assemble the lasagna: Coat the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch pan with a ladle full of tomato sauce. Arrange 4 noodles lengthwise in a slightly overlapping layer on the sauce. Then, line each end of the pan with a lasagna noodle. This forms a collar that holds in the corners. Spread 1/2 of the meat mixture over the pasta. Dollop 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over the meat, spread to the edges with a spatula. Sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella on top of the ricotta. Top with a ladle full of tomato sauce, spread evenly. Repeat with the next layer of noodles, meat, cheeses and sauce. Top last layer with noodles, sauce and shredded mozzarella and Parmesan. Tap the pan to force out air bubbles. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven. Let lasagna rest for 30 minutes so the noodles will settle and cut easily. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.