For my 20th birthday this past August, Mom said she would make me whatever food I wanted. I thought for a while and decided on homemade lasagna. My mom is an amazing cook and it turned out incredible. She gave me the recipe, but I had not gotten around to trying it out until last night.
I have also had a recipe for homemade marinara sauce since I first got into cooking. It seemed pretty labor intensive and I doubted my abilities to make sauce like a true Italian, so I had been putting it off.
Yesterday, Zack and I did not have any plans, so we decided to try out these recipes. It’s a good thing we didn’t have plans, because it took all evening to make this. We didn’t get to eat dinner until 7:30 which is extremely late for us. We eat really early, because Zack goes to bed around 8 so he can get up for work.
The recipe that Mom gave me included a recipe for homemade sauce, so I sort of combined the one that I already had and the one included in what she gave me. In the recipe I include, I will just give the one that I used, because I know it works well.
Allow yourself a lot of time to make this, once again. It takes FOREVER to cut up all the ingredients for the sauce (and then the sauce has to cook for 2 hours and the actual lasagna cooks for about an hour).
In the sauce we used whole tomatoes that we peeled and seeded ourselves. Zack helped in chopping up everything. He declared that he will not be peeling and seeding tomatoes ever again. It was definitely a HUGE pain and I don’t know if I will do it again either. I asked Mom and she said she used entirely canned tomato sauce in her homemade sauce recipe, so in the future I think that’s what I will do, too.
I also made some Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread to go with the lasagna, but I will talk about that in a different entry.
World’s Best Lasagna
For the lasagna:
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 oven ready lasagna noodles
16 oz ricotta cheese
¾ lb mozzarella cheese, sliced
homemade marinara sauce:
2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced
2 tablespoon olive oil
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon basil
½ tablespoon oregano
½ tablespoon fennel seeds
½ cup red wine
18-19 smallish fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded
28 oz can tomato sauce
6 oz can tomato paste
1 lb sweet turkey sausage
¾ lb ground turkey
salt and pepper to taste
Make the sauce:
Brown turkey sausage and ground turkey in a skillet. Drain and set aside.
In a large soup pot, heat up the olive oil. Add the onions and cook slowly on medium heat until they start to carmalize. They should be evenly brown and soft. Cooking them this way brings out the natural sweetness in the onions.
Add the garlic and dried herbs and cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the ½ cup of red wine and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, their juice, canned sauce, tomato paste, sausage, and ground turkey and stir to combine.
Bring to a simmer and cook on low, stirring occasionally for about 2 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Make the lasagna:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
To assemble, spread 1½ cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of the mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1½ cups meat sauce over mozzarella and sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
Repeat layers and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil; to prevent sticking, spray foil with cooking spray.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
The title of the recipe is correct. It is SO good!
I hope you enjoy 🙂