I made my Classic Lasagna this weekend and I realized I have never shared the recipe with you! I make this Lasagna recipe for friends having babies, for new neighbors, or anytime I need to take food to someone. I take a shortcut with jarred marinara, but I use a high quality one with all natural ingredients and no sugar. This lasagna has a secret ingredient that really gives it that little something extra. Well, actually, 2 secret ingredients, see if you can find them.
For the sauce:
1 lb ground beef (I use ground chuck for best flavor)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend (dried basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 jars marinara sauce (look for a high quality brand with fewer than 5 ingredients, no sugar)
¼ cup red wine
For the lasagna:
1/2 pound lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cook ground beef over high heat until cooked through. If there is a lot of fat, drain the fat. Add salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to the ground beef. Add marinara, and stir. Add wine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Cook over low for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9×12 rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the ricotta, half the mozzarella, and 1/3 of the sauce. For the next layer, add the rest of the pasta, ricotta, sauce, then mozzarella last for best looking presentation. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, covered with foil, until the sauce is bubbling. Remove the foil, turn up the oven to broil, and broil lasagna until cheese begins to brown (about 2 minutes, watch it very closely). Let the lasagna cool for about 10 minutes before cutting into it.
Did you notice the secret ingredients? Adding red wine to the sauce really changes the jarred sauce, and the goat cheese in the lasagna gives it a lovely flavor.