Lasagna is considered to be America’s favorite dish, likely due to its versatility. It is simple, filling and can feed lots of people with plenty to spare for leftovers.
Have you ever wondered about the origin of lasagna? Although considered Italian cuisine, it can be traced to ancient Greece. The main theory is that the term lasagna can be traced to the Greek word laganon, which was a flat sheet of dough cut into strips.
Another theory is that modern lasagna evolved from the 14th century English recipe called Loseyn. That recipe shares the similarities with lasagna in its ingredients being layered between pasta sheets as well as its name. The major difference is that tomatoes weren’t fully introduced to England until after Christopher Columbus discovered America.
Please enjoy this lasagna recipe from AllRecipes.com.
1 pound sweet Italian sausage ½ cup minced onion
¾ pound lean ground beef 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes ½ cup water
1 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste 1½ teaspoons dried basil leaves
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce 1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar 1 egg
½ teaspoon fennel seeds ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning ¾ pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- lasagna noodles
- In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and ½ teaspoon salt.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- To assemble, spread 1 ½ cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with ½ of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 1/3 of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 ½ 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, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.