Classic Lasagna with Homemade Ricotta
1 hour 45 mins
Recipe type: Main
- Tomato Sauce Ingredients:
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 4 cups strained tomatoes
- 1 fresh basil sprig
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- Filling Ingredients:
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup basil, chopped
- ⅓ cup parmesan, shredded
- ½ cup mozzarella, shredded
- pasta sheets
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- To make the filling: in a bowl, stir to combine, ricotta, eggs, mozzarella, Parmesan and basil. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
- To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the ground beef and sauté until the liquids evaporate.
- Season with salt, pepper and red chili flakes.
- Cook until the meat is brown. Then add the garlic, strained tomatoes and basil.
- Season with more salt and pepper if required and simmer for at least 1 hour (the longer the better). In the end, ff the sauce tastes too tart, add a pinch of baking soda and simmer for 1 minute longer.
- Boil the pasta in a big pot of salted water, then use tongs to transfer the sheets to ice water to cool quickly. Leave them in the water until ready to assemble the lasagna.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Coat a 9 x 13′ baking dish with olive oil and start assembling the lasagna. Assembling is easy, you just have to divide the sauce ingredients in four parts, pasta in three parts and cheese in two parts. So first ¼ of the sauce goes on the bottom of the baking dish. Then, follows ⅓ of the pasta and ½ of the cheese filling.
- Continue making all the layers topping the last layer of the meat sauce with more fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
- Cover the baking dish loosely with foil, place it on a sheet pan in case of any spill overs and bake for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
- Remove lasagna from the oven and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.