Part Two of Dustin’s birthday meal extravaganza: Meat Lasagna.
And, when I say “Lasagna,” I mean Dustin’s style of lasagna — with plenty of Italian sausage, ground beef and, of course, cheese.
Not that I’m complaining.
This particular lasagna recipe has actually been passed down over several generations in Dustin’s family, starting first with his great grandmother on his mother’s side.
Don’t you just love family recipes passed down through the generations?
Now, you know me…I have made my fair share of amendments to the recipe to make it my own. But, overall, it makes a delicious meat lasagna.
As for Dustin’s birthday request(s), he was very happy to have his Part Two (of Three) and looks forward to having his Sweet Potato Casserole for dessert.
*As a side note, I actually made a gluten-free version of this lasagna for my mother-in-law who is following a gluten-free diet. I made everything the same, except I substituted Rice Lasagna (pictured above) for the regular lasagna noodles in Dustin’s version. As for how it turned out, she said it was good. Success!
My first intentionally gluten-free pasta dish! Woohoo!
makes 6-8 servings
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped plus extra for garnish, if desired
1 can (12 oz.) diced tomatoes
6-9 lasagna noodles (or rice noodles if going gluten-free)
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
12-16 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until well-browned. Once well-browned, add basil and diced tomatoes. Once heated through, set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, parsley, eggs, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. This will constitute the cheese filling for the lasagna.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook lasagna noodles until tender, but not completely cooked through. Remove from water and drain.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the bottom of a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish. Arrange noodles, slightly overlapping, over the sauce and across the bottom of the dish. Spread another thin layer of tomato sauce over the noodles. Spread a layer, using about half the cheese filling, over the sauce. Spread a layer, using about half the meat, over the cheese sauce. Spread a thin layer of mozzarella cheese over the meat layer. Repeat these steps, starting with the noodles, sauce, cheese filling and meat. Top the final layer with a generous portion of mozzarella.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until the cheese starts to become golden brown around the edges and the lasagna is bubbling.
Let stand about 10 minutes prior to cutting into square for serving. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese or julienned basil, if desired.