Is This the Ultimate Lasagna? We Think So
Our supreme lasagna recipe calls for two fillings: one with sausage and beef simmered in tomato sauce, the other a cheesy mixture speckled with parsley. Each shines on its own, but together they soar like an aria. Our technique also gives you a leg up on prep-covering it while it bakes means there's no need to parboil your noodles. For crisp, browned edges and even cooking throughout, use a ceramic or enameled cast-iron baking pan; they maintain temperature better than glass ones.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 85 percent-lean ground beef
- Sweet Italian sausage
- Dried oregano
- Red-pepper flakes
- Tomato paste
- Canned whole peeled tomatoes
- Low-moisture mozzarella
- Whole-milk ricotta
- Whole milk
- Flat-leaf parsley
- Dry lasagna noodles
1. Simmer the Meat Sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add 3/4 pound beef, 3/4 pound sausage, 1 chopped medium onion, 2 peeled and chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery stalks, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, breaking up meat into bite-size pieces, until vegetables soften and meat has browned in places, about 10 minutes. Add 6 minced garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes; cook 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons tomato paste; cook 2 minutes. Purée two 28-ounce cans tomatoes in a blender or food processor; add to pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced slightly, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Mix the Cheeses
Shred 1 pound mozzarella. In a large bowl, whisk together 24 ounces ricotta (3 cups), 1 cup milk, 3 large eggs, 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, 3/4 cup chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
3. Layer and Bake
Spread 2 cups meat sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over sauce. Spread 2 cups cheese mixture over noodles; top with 3 more noodles. Repeat twice. Spread 2 cups meat sauce over top layer of noodles. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella and 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Loosely cover with parchment-lined foil; place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until noodles are al dente, 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover; bake until bubbly along edges and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes more. (There may appear to be a lot of liquid in the dish. It will be absorbed as the lasagna cools.) Transfer dish to a wire rack to let cool slightly and set, about 20 minutes; serve.
When layering dry lasagna noodles into your dish, space them slightly apart-they'll expand as they bake. Go for a good pasta, such as Barilla.
This recipe can be assembled and stored in the refrigerator up to a day in advance. Leftovers also hold up well in the freezer: Package individual slices in parchment-lined foil and store in a freezer bag for up to a month. To reheat, bake, still wrapped in foil, at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until heated through.
In this meat-free recipe, mushrooms add umami, eggplant soaks up the sauce's flavor, and both give the dish a hearty, satisfying texture.