Mastering the Art of Homemade Lasagna
Homemade lasagna is a classic dish if you’re having friends over for a dinner party, want to treat the family, or even if you want to make a delicious meal that can be frozen and eaten at a later date. It’s full of wholesome flavors, tasty vegetables, and packed full of protein from the meat (although you can always substitute the meat for vegetables if you’d prefer!). This recipe uses ground Italian sausage, which is the most authentic way of making it—although you can use a mixture of ground beef and pork as a substitute. So, let’s get to it! This is our perfect homemade lasagna from here at NetCost Market.
Sauce: 1 ½ lb. ground Italian sausage, 1 yellow onion—peeled and diced, olive oil, 6 large cloves of garlic, 3 tbsp. tomato paste, ½ tsp. red pepper flakes, ½ cup red wine (this can be substituted with beef stock), 3 15-oz. cans of whole tomatoes in juice, ½ cup diced roasted red peppers, 2 tsp. dried oregano, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp. sea salt, ½ tsp. black pepper.
Cheese mix: 2 15-oz containers ricotta cheese, 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 cup fresh basil leaves—chopped, 1 egg.
Layering ingredients: 4 cups shredded mozzarella, 15 lasagna sheets (or you can make your own at home from the Pasta Project), basil, and parmesan cheese for topping.
Making the sauce:
- Set a large saucepan on medium heat and add a few tbsp. of olive oil. Add the onions and fry for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Then add the Italian sausage or ground meat and cook until completely browned. Add the garlic, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes and cook—stirring occasionally—for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine, and then scrape off any brown bits that are attached to the bottom of the pan—these are great for adding flavor.
- Add the cans of tomatoes, roasted red peppers, oregano, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. The tomatoes may need to be broken down using a wooden spoon. Bring the whole pot to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes until it has significantly reduced. It should look juicy by not watery. Fish out the bay leaf using the wooden spoon and then remove the pan from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
Making the cheese mixture:
- It’s quite simple—just mix together all the ingredients for the cheese mixture in a mixing bowl. Ensure that the egg has combined well into the mixture.
Layering and assembling your lasagna:
- Set your oven to 375F and then oil a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil.
- Spread 1 ½ cups of the sauce evenly on the bottom of the pan, then add a layer of lasagna sheets (the number depends on the size of your sheets but the whole layer should be covered). Then add 1/3 of the cheese mixture spread evenly and then 1 cup of shredded mozzarella.
- The second layer is similar—add 1/3 of the remaining sauce, 1 more round of lasagna sheets to cover the whole layer, ½ of the remaining cheese mixture, and 1 cup shredded mozzarella.
- The third layer includes adding ½ of the remaining sauce, 1 more layer of lasagna sheets, and the remaining cheese mixture.
- To top it off, add the remaining sauce and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella.
Cooking the lasagna:
- Create a tent-style covering with aluminum foil and bake for around 45 minutes.
- Remove the aluminum foil and then bake for another 20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese on top is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes, then sprinkle over some parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves and enjoy!
Having friends over for dinner is one of the most delightful activities you can do, and their hearts will jump when they hear they’re having lasagna for dinner! Try this brilliant recipe and show them lasagna as they’ve never had it before. At NetCost Market, we stock real and authentic Italian produce so head in-store to find all the best ingredients to master the art of homemade lasagna.