This recipe has a few ingredients that you don’t typically see in in lasagna, but its seriously good. There are probably, like, a million lasagna recipes out there. They all claim to be the best. And if you were a tall guy with curly hair prancing around NYC in tights, you might say that the first lasagna recipe you try is officially the best and wholeheartedly congratulate them (Elf anyone??). I’m not going to claim this is the best. Because some people might think it is the best, and some people might not. But it’s really darn good. And there’s a few ingredients that make it stand out just a bit from most of the traditional lasagna recipes you see out there in the world wide web. Also there’s four types of cheese. You just can’t go wrong here people.
What’s lasagna without some stretchy, gooey cheese action, am I right? And this version has plenty of that, trust me.
You start off by making a sauce. Please, please, please don’t use jarred sauce for this. It’s so simple to make your own and completely worth it. This is definitely a weekend meal, timewise. But the awesome part is it makes so much you are guaranteed to have leftovers! Believe me you’ll want leftovers of this. The sauce is a pretty basic tomato sauce, with a few additions of course. You start with olive oil, onions and garlic, the holy grail of Italian food. Basically cook the onions until translucent and add some garlic. You don’t want to cook the garlic for too long because garlic has a tendency to overcook quickly. Add the carrots and celery and let some magic happen while all those flavors concentrate. This is the base for your sauce and it can’t be left out! After about ten minutes, you can add the meat to brown it. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and let it simmer. The longer the better but 20 minutes will do. You’re getting close.
While the sauce is simmering, you can boil your lasagna noodles. Very important step here. Don’t mess this up. Seriously, DO NOT MESS THIS UP. Don’t overcook the lasagna noodles. Remember, you’re going to be coating them with sauce and baking them for 40 minutes so they don’t need to be fully cooked. Al dente is perfect. When they’re done, make sure to either toss them in olive oil or lay them in a pan spread with olive oil to prevent them from sticking. Also, those pre-cooked lasagna noodles? Don’t use them. If that’s all you have, you’ll have to increase the baking time by a lot. Like at least an hour, but that might not even be enough.
Mix your ricotta, egg, nutmeg, parsley, Parmesan and mascarpone cheese. That’s right, mascarpone cheese. Move over tiramisu, mascarpone cheese has just found a new home – lasagna.
Here’s another cheesy delicious shot to tempt you to keep going.
The layering of the lasagna is the best part, in my opinion. This is where the kiddos can help. It’s hard to mess up. There’s no science to it really, just to make sure you have enough for all the layers because what’s a lasagna without a minimum of three layers?! It’s nothing, that’s what it is, nothing. Three layers of lasagna or bust. So eyeball your meat sauce, ricotta and mozzarella but make sure you have enough for every layer.
You start with a layer of sauce, then lasagna noodles. Make sure they overlap, so you don’t have gaps in the base of your lasagna. Next ricotta mix, meat sauce, mozzarella cheese. Next layer: lasagna noodles, ricotta mix, meat sauce, mozzarella cheese. Third layer: lasagna noodles, ricotta mix, meat sauce, mozzarella cheese. Get the point? It’s easy, just keep repeating. Last step is to add a layer of noodles, any more meat sauce you might have laying around and the rest of the Parmesan. You want to load this thing with Parmesan. If it looks like you have enough, add more. The top layer needs it. Has anyone in the history of the world ever said too much cheese? That’s what I thought. More Parmesan FTW!
Bake this beauty covered at 350 degrees for around 30 minutes. Then uncover it and bake it for another ten. You can even broil it if you’re feeling wild and crazy. Just keep a close eye on it because broiling can brown things very quickly. And here is the finished product. Lasagna nirvana. Complete with garlic bread, because I’m pretty sure it’s against the law to eat lasagna without garlic bread.