About this recipe:It takes a little effort, but it is always worth it.
500g Italian-style pork sausage, casings removed and chopped
375g lean mince
1 large onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 (400g) tins chopped tomatoes
350g tomato puree
1/2 (700g) jar passata
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
12 dried lasagne sheets
450g ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
375g mozzarella cheese, sliced
100g grated Parmesan cheese
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:2hr30min › Ready in:3hr
In a casserole, cook sausage, mince, onion and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, passata and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian herbs, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Cook lasagne sheets in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain sheets, and rinse with cold water.
In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5.
To assemble, spread 375ml of meat sauce in the bottom of a 22x33cm (9x13 in) baking dish. Arrange 6 lasagne sheets lengthways over meat sauce. Spread with 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon another 375ml of meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminium foil (to prevent sticking, either grease the foil with oil, 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.
You can freeze this lasagne so it's ready to bake later. Assemble as directed and then freeze without baking. Then simply throw it in the oven when you're ready to enjoy a rustic homemade meal! You may have to increase the cooking time if you're baking it straight from the freezer. You can also assemble the day before, and simply chill in the fridge until the next day when you're ready to bake.
If you can't find Italian pork sausage, available now in many supermarkets, use any good-quality pork sausage.
Fantastic recipe! I cooked this for some friends and their children and it went down really well. I made a meat version and a vegetarian version for myself, using a mince substitute in the veggie version, and I also added some red wine to both, reducing it down so that the sauce wasn't too watery.
You might be surprised that there is no bechamel sauce, but the ricotta cheese makes a smooth white layer and the different cheeses work well together. I also mixed some spinach in with the ricotta to help get some more greens and goodness into the children!
You do need to set aside a couple of hours to make it, but it's easily the best lasagne I've made. - 18 Feb 2012