My Mom was having a party at our house and I offered to make a main dish.
“Too much fuss! You don’t need to do all that work,” she said.
I reassured her that I wanted to. I wanted to try my hand at cooking for the 30+ people attending the party. So first thing that came to mind was lasagna. It’s easy to make, everyone likes it, and it freezes well. So I made the sauce and put them together the day before, and right before dinnertime, I popped them in the oven.
I tried refrigerating them two ways after I assembled. For one lasagna, I didn’t cook it all and covered it in plastic wrap and foil. I would cook it fully the next day for the party. For the second lasagna, I cooked it for the first 25 minutes with the foil on, let it cool to room temperature, then put it in the fridge overnight. Then when it came time to throw it in the oven for the party, I cooked it for 25 minutes the with foil off. Verdict? Either way is fine, but from now on I’ll be doing it the no-cook-beforehand way. It’s easier.
I got the recipe after reading hundreds of fantastic reviews of people confirming that it really was the world’s best lasagna. I altered the recipe a bit, adding things or omitting things, due to my personal taste, and it was delicious.
World’s Best Lasagna
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 4 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
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons chopped basil
- 1 box of no-cook lasagna noodles
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 XL bag of Mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1.. Combine both meats, onion, and garlic in dutch oven or large sauce pot.
2.Add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Let the sauce simmer for at least an hour and a half and until your house smells divine.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
4. In a bowl combine the ricotta, egg, basil, and a little S&P.
5. To assemble the lasagna: spread sauce in even layer on bottom of pan, add layer of no-cook noodles, spread ricotta mixture on top, then add mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Repeat until you get to the top of the pan.
TIP: Spread the ricotta mixture on the no-cook noodles before you place them on top of the sauce. It’s easier and creates less mess.
4. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 25 minutes.
5. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting.