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Recipe Category: Casseroles
Recipe Preparation Level: moderate
2 T. olive oil
1 T. unsalted butter
1/2 sweet onion,chopped
2 lbs ground chuck
1/2 t. each:salt,garlic powder
Freshly ground pepper
1 can(29oz.each) tomato puree
2 can (28oz. each)crushed tomatoes
1 T. dried basil
10 sprigs fresh basil or to taste
1 t. sugar
2 t. grated romano cheese
1 container(32 oz.)whole-milk ricotta,drained in colander 1 hour.
2 eggs,slightly beaten
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup each:coarsely chopped parsley,grated
Zest of 1 lemon or to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste
l t. salt
1/2 t. sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
Freshly ground pepper
Noodles and assembly:
1/2 t. salt
Fresh lasagna noodles,see recipe,or l package
(16oz) dried noodles
3 T. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1.For the sauce, heat the oil and butter in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat;add onion. Cook until onion is fragrant,about l minute.
2. Stir in the beef,breaking it up with a spoon over medium-low heat,until browned,about 10 minutes. Add salt,garlic powder and pepper to taste. Cook,stirring occasionally,about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and the crushed tomatoes. Stir in the dried basil. Increase heat to medium-high;heat to a boil. Stir in the basil sprigs and sugarl Stir in the Romano cheese. Lower heat to a simmer;cook 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, for the ricotta filling,break up the ricotta into small pieces in a large bowl;mix in the beaten eggs,mozzarell,parsley,parmesan,lemon zest,juice,salt,sugar,cinnamon and pepper to taste, stirring until smooth(do no over mix). Taste;add additional salt,sugar and/or lemon,if desired.
4.Heat oven to 350 degrees. For the noodles,heat a roasting pan or large pan of water to a boil;add salt. Cook noodles until al dente,3-4 minutes, in batches if necessary(dried will take about 10 minutes). Remove noodles with tongs to a baking pan,keeping the flat;add a bit of the cooking water to keep pasta supple.
5.Pour one-fourth of the sauce on the bottom of a 13x9-inch buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with l tablespoon of the Parmesan;cover completely with one-third of the noodles(overlapping is fine). Add another one-foruth of the sauce;add half of the ricotta mixture. Add l tablespoon of the parmesan;top with 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella. Cover with one-third of the noodles. Add another one-fourth of the sauce;top with remaining ricotta mixture,remainingl tablespoon of the parmesan and remaining2 tablespoon of the mozzarells. Cover with remaining third of the noodles. Cover with remaining sauce(you will have leftover noodles.)
6. Cover pan with foil;bake 30 minutes;uncover. Bake until top is bubbly,about 15 minutes. Set aside to rest 20 minutes before cutting.
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