You can find about a billion recipes of lasagna out there… but are they all good?? Not so much. Granted everyone has their own idea of what lasagna should be but let’s face it, most lasagnas are a little bland. I promise you that you won’t think this recipe is bland or boring though! It is really, really yummy and full of fantastic flavor. And I’ll tell ya, if I’m going to the great lengths of making homemade lasagna, it better be dang good! In fact, I always double the recipe so I have one for the freezer. So this recipe is written with that in mind – it makes two 9×13 inch pans of lasagna. It freezes great though… or you can take the extra to a friend in need. Either way, it makes me feel much more satisfied seeing two pans of lasagna after all that work and I’m sure you’ll feel the same way! :) (Another bonus is that you will have extra meat sauce. This freezes great as well and will make an easy and delicious spaghetti dinner down the road.) Serve it up with a green salad and fresh garlic bread and your family will be very happy campers. Enjoy!
submitted by Brittany ~ The Sisters Cafe
2 lbs mild Italian sausage
1 lb ground turkey
2 large onions, diced
4 tsp garlic, crushed (6-8 cloves)
2 (12 oz.) cans tomato paste
3 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
4 cups stewed tomatoes (mine are homegrown and frozen but you can substitute canned stewed tomatoes)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tb dried basil (or 1/4 cup chopped fresh)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup water
32 oz. ricotta cheese (can substitute cottage cheese)
4 oz. cream cheese, optional
2 extra large eggs
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
24 lasagna noodles, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
shredded mozzarella cheese (approximately 2 lbs or 8 cups)
1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
In a stock pot, cook sausage (remove casings), ground turkey, onion, and garlic over medium heat. Stir in remaining ingredients listed under meat sauce. Simmer, covered for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Use the back of your stirring spoon to break up large chunks of stewed tomatoes. **If you are making this the day before you plan on serving it, you can skip the long simmer time. The flavors will meld together as it sits in the fridge, even if you have already assembled the lasagna.**
Soak lasagna noodles in hot water for 20 minutes. (They will be partially cooked – soft but firm enough that they don’t get soggy while baking. This helps the lasagna servings hold their nice square shape when you slice it up.) While noodles soak, combine ingredients for the cheese mixture and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set out two 9×13 inch pans.
To assemble, scoop 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of each 9×13 inch pan. Lay down 6 noodles lengthwise over sauce and spread with 1/4 of total cheese mixture in each pan. (This will use up half of your cheese mixture.) *Note: not a 1/4 cup but a 1/4 of the total cheese mixture! To make this easier you might want to divide the cheese mixture into 2 bowls before starting the layering so that it is easy to use half a bowl for each layer.* Next sprinkle 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan on top, per pan. (Or desired amount of cheese, I usually sprinkle on the amount that looks good to me.) Repeat layers and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 1-1.5 hours. The time will vary depending on if you bake both at once. For last 15 minutes, remove foil and allow cheese to crisp up on top. Let lasagna cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
If you wish to freeze one, cover tightly with foil and pop into the freezer without baking. Remove from freezer the night before you wish to serve it and let it thaw in fridge. Bake covered in foil for approximately 1-1.5 hours. If it’s slightly frozen it will take longer of course!