Lasagna

 

1 pound dried lasagna noodles
Extra-virgin olive oil
onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
pound ground beef
pound ground Italian sausage
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (drained)
1 quart ricotta cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 egg, lightly beaten
cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups tomato sauce, prepared
pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
Grated Parmesan and mozzarella, for topping
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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 and coat with olive oil to keep them moist and easy to work with.

Coat a large skillet with olive oil. Saute onion, garlic, carrots, celery and basil over medium heat until fragrant and tender, approximately 5 minutes. Add beef and sausage and brown until no longer pink, about 15 minutes. Drain fat into a small container and discard. Stir in the tomatoes. Set aside to cool. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, parsley and oregano. Stir in beaten eggs. Add Parmesan and season with salt and pepper and cinnamon.

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, shredded mozzarella and Parmesan. Tap the pan to force out air bubbles. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F 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.