Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hearty Meat Lasagna

Tim and I made this lasagna a few weeks ago, and we loved it.  Although the recipes from The New Best Recipe often feel overly complex and time-consuming, this one was actually quite fast to pull together, and with excellent results.  The meat sauce cooks on the stove and doesn't need time to boil away for hours like some meat sauces - although it tastes a little "raw" if you try some right out of the pot before baking the lasagna, everything comes together perfectly after the sauce spends some time in the oven with the cheese and noodles.  I also love the ricotta spread in the lasagna.  I usually just spread plain ricotta cheese on my noodles, and while that tastes good, the ricotta-egg-Parmesan-basil combo is even better!  The fresh basil leaves in particular really add a lot of fantastic flavor to the lasagna.  Overall, a great meal - and the perfect accompaniment to watching Twin Peaks on Netflix!  We served it with some fresh snap peas on the side - yum!

Hearty Meat Lasagna (from The New Best Recipe)
Serves 8

For the sauce:
1 T canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 pound ground beef
1/3 pound ground veal
1/3 pound ground pork
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
28-ounce can tomato puree
28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

To assemble:
15 ounces ricotta cheese (non-fat is ok, or use part- or full-fat)
2-1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 pound whole-milk mozzarella, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Make the sauce.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent but not browned.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
3. Increase the heat to medium high and add the meat, salt, and pepper.  Cook until the meat is no longer raw, but is not browned.
4. Add the cream and bring to a simmer.  Simmer until the liquid is evaporated and only the fat remains.
5. Add the tomato puree and diced tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer and simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
6. Combine the ricotta, 1 cup of the Parmesan, the basil, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.  Mix with a fork until creamy.
7. Ladle 1/4 cup meat sauce into the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish and spread to cover.  Spread 3 T of the ricotta mixture onto a noodle in an even layer.  Repeat with two more noodles to make a single layer of 3 noodles.
8. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella, and then spoon over 1-1/2 cups meat sauce and spread evenly.
9. Repeat the noodle-ricotta-mozzarella-sauce procedure two more times.
10. Place the remaining three noodles on top, spread with the remaining sauce, and then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
11. Spray a piece of foil with oil and cover the lasagna, oil-side down. Bake 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake a further 25 minutes.
12. Remove from the oven and let cool ten minutes before serving.


  1. Ooh, I like the inclusion of pork, beef AND veal! Sounds and looks delicious!

  2. My husband love lasagna, yet I rarely make it. I think I'm going to make him his favorite pasta soon. Thanks Sara!

  3. I love me some lasagna; this has got me inspired to do a summery version! :)

  4. I haven't made lasagna in a while. you just gave me an idea.