It got to the point where I stopped making lasagna. It just never turned out right. It was either too sloppy or too dry, or two bland, or some combination of all three. And did I mention it was bland?
I followed all the “appropriate” recipes. And I gave up. What was all the hullabaloo with lasagna anyway? Everybody drooled over it. They were liars.
Then, I was watching The Chew, and I saw Joy Behar, who is undeniably Italian. And she made hers. And I realized what I had been missing.
Not that this is exactly her recipe. I make my own sauce and I am quite happy with it, thank you very much.
But she inspired the proper cheese filling.
And well, if you make this you will see why it is undeniably the best lasagna.
It seems more daunting than it is. The sauce is the only time-consuming thing, and it’s basically the “Not Quite Your Wise Guy Spaghetti Sauce” with some meat.
For the Sauce
- 1 lb pork sausage (fennel and I don’t like each other, feel free to use Italian sausage here)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp hot pepper flakes
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 2/3 c red wine
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Cheese Filling
- 16 oz container of ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2/3 c grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 c freshly chopped parsley
Remainder of Ingredients
- 9 lasagna noodles (softened in hot water) My lasagna pan perfectly makes 3 layers
- 8-12 oz fresh mozzarella cut into slices
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1/3 c grated parmesan
- Saute the sausage until done, remove from pan and set aside
- Saute the onions until translucent. Add the pepper flakes, the garlic, and tomatoes and oregano.
- Simmer until nearly dry. Then add the wine, and simmer until a “sauce” consistency has been reached.
- Add the sausage back in, taste, and season accordingly
- Make the cheese filling but mixing all those ingredients together.
- Put your lasagna noodles into hot water until softened.
- Assemble the lasagna by starting with a very light layer of meat sauce in the bottom, the noodles, 1/3 of the cheese filling, about 6-8 pieces of the fresh mozzarella, more sauce, noodles, filling, mozzarella, sauce, noodles, filling, sauce, the 2 cups of shredded mozzarella and the parmesan on top.
- Pre-heat oven to 375° and bake for about 45 minutes or until bubbly. Sit out for 15 before serving.