Barbara Henry's Lasagna
This is no foolin' around, (ha, get it- April…). This recipe comes from the guy who made this web site. His momma was a very good cook. She wasn't Italian through no fault of her own… but I think you'll like this.
According to Mrs. Henry, and I agree, the secret to a great sauce is cooking the ground beef and sausage mixture long enough for the juices to evaporate and the meats to brown in their own fat drippings for "robust" flavor. Since ground beef contains up to 30 percent fat, no oil is necessary for browning. Stir the meat and scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven frequently with a metal spoon to brown the meats evenly and to prevent them from sticking to the bottom and getting burnt.
For a thick, full flavored sauce, it isn't necessary to simmer it for hours, like my momma, only long enough for the seasonings to blend. And since you're going to use Angelo's Garlic Salsa, which is already cooked to perfection, this sauce only takes about 30 minutes to make.
According to Mrs. Henry, the secret to great lasagna noodles is to cook them al dente, just tender, because they're gonna be baked later. Overcooked noodles will be soft, mushy, and very difficult to layer. You should drain the noodles immediately, running them under warm tap water until they are easy to handle. Drain them again to remove ALL the water so the sauce won't be diluted.
Let's get started:
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Angelo's Italian sausage, chopped small
1 small onion, diced
2 16 oz bottles of Angelo's Garlic salsa
1 bay leaf
14 – 16 lasagna noodles
15 oz ricotta cheese
16 oz mozzarella cheese, diced
About 2 1/2 hours before serving:
In a 5 quart Dutch oven over high heat, cook beef, sausage and onion until all pan juices evaporate and the meats are well browned. Stirring frequently. Add the two jars of the Garlic salsa. Heat to boiling, stirring to break up the tomatoes. Reduce heat to low; cover; simmer for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaf. Spoon off any fat from the sauce.
Prepare the lasagna noodles as directed by the box and reread the part above about how the noodles should be prepared. Make sure they are drained very well. In a small bowl, combine the eggs and the ricotta cheese. The eggs, according to Mrs. Henry, allow the cheese to "set" or to form a firm layer as the dish bakes. In a 13"x9" baking dish, arrange half the noodles, overlapping to fit the dish. Spoon 1/2 of the ricotta cheese/egg mixture; sprinkle with 1/2 of the mozzarella, top with 1/2 of the sauce. Repeat this until all the sauce and noodles are gone.
Bake in 375F for about 45 minutes, check with a fork to make sure it's baked through. Let it stand for about 10 minutes for easier serving. This should feed 8 people, or two of me and the guy who made this web site.
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