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lasagna – an all-time favorite


Do you know anyone who doesn’t like lasagna? I certainly don’t! It’s right up there with hamburgers, spaghetti, and mac and cheese as the all-time family favorites. All those classics have been posted here already, it is now lasagna’s turn.

Toasted and skinned hazelnuts are used in the pesto. To learn how to do this procedure, either go to the Tip Index at the left and look under “Hazelnuts” or click on this link.


1 pound dried lasagna noodles
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup packed Italian parsley leaves
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

2 tablespoons flour
1 cup red wine
28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

15-ounce container ricotta cheese, divided in half
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
1 egg, beaten

1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and loose skins rubbed off in a kitchen towel
2 cups loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Cook the lasagna noodles in boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the noodles thoroughly and coat with olive oil to keep them from sticking together, set aside.

Heat a large skillet, add beef and sausage and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.  Season meat with salt and pepper.   In a food processor, combine the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, basil, parsley, and oregano. Process until pureed, add to the pan with the meat, and stir to combine. Stir in the flour, and stir for 2 minutes to cook the raw taste out of the flour. Add the wine and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 container of ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and goat cheese. Stir in egg, and season with salt and pepper. Set cheese mixture aside.

Pesto: Puree all ingredients, except olive oil, in a food processor. With the machine running, add 1/4 cup of the olive oil through the feed tube and puree until pesto is smooth.

In a medium bowl stir the remaining ricotta, and 1 cup of the parsley pesto, until combined well. Then, in a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons pesto and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil for drizzling over cooked lasagna, set aside.

Assemble: In a 13 x 9-inch pan, spread 2 ladles of sauce. Arrange 4 noodles lengthwise in a slightly overlapping layer on the sauce. Then, line each short end of the pan with a lasagna noodle to form a collar that holds in the corners. Dollop 1/2 of the cheese mixture over the pasta, and spread to the edges with a spatula.  Spread 1/2 of the meat mixture over the cheese.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella on top of the meat. Spread 1/2 of pesto over mozzarella. Top with 2 ladles of sauce, spread evenly.

Repeat with the next layer of noodles, remaining 1/2 of the cheese mixture, remaining 1/2 of the pesto, 2 ladles of sauce, and 1/3 mozzarella.

Top last layer with noodles, remaining sauce, remaining 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella, and 1/3 cup Parmesan. Shake the pan to settle. (Can be assembled a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator for 30 minutes before uncovering and placing in the preheated oven). Bake for 1 hour. Allow lasagna to rest for 30 minutes to firm up and cut easily.   Cut into 12 squares and serve drizzled with pesto oil.

Serves 12

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1 Sydney { 12.07.09 at 9:34 PM }

Well, the gang will be winging its way to my home for the holidays. I plan to make this delicious recipe for all those hungry mouths that have to be fed. What could be a better than this comfort food. Thanks for sharing this with us.

2 Linda Hopkins { 12.07.09 at 10:22 PM }

Hi Sydney, thanks for checking it out and see you at class in a couple days 🙂

3 Sharon { 12.07.09 at 10:41 PM }

Linda…looking forward to class tomorrow evening. I mentioned to you that I have 40 widows from our church (most of them over 75) coming over for an annual Christmas dinner next Sunday night. It is sort of a hard crowd to get excited to cook for because I have it in my head they want bland comfort foods. Do you have any suggestions on h0w I might kick it up a notch this year? Last year I made marinated pork tenderloin, parsleyed carrots, a zucchini casserole, wild rice pilaf with mushrooms, homemade rolls (friend makes these), and a plated winter salad of mixed greens, pears, avacado, candied pecans with poppyseed dresssing. Thinking about doing the same thing this year unless you can help me think up another menu. I love your blog. I have taken way too much time navigating around…I’ll be back!

4 Linda Hopkins { 12.08.09 at 9:12 AM }

Sharon, thank you fro checking out the blog and the nice comment. Your are an absolute love to host the widows’ dinner! I did the food for my moth-in-law’s 80th birthday party a couple years ago, so I know what you mean about the bland comfort foods 🙂 Plus this was in Illinois, so also needed to consider the “mid-west” aspect too. Some of the huge hits of that menu were a Seven Layer Salad, Layered Jello Salad, Spinach and Bacon Deviled Eggs (those went in a matter of minutes!) and an Orzo, Smoked Turkey, Corn and Pine Nut Salad. A Honey Baked Ham, Rolls and condiments were the center of the buffet. Let me know if you would like any of those recipes and I’ll bring them to class tonight. See you soon!

5 Joan Apple Kleinberg { 12.08.09 at 9:19 AM }

Linda, What a fantastic website. Will we automatically get e-mails with the recipe of the day? See you tonight. joan

6 Nate Kleinberg { 12.08.09 at 9:24 AM }

Hi Linda,
I know we are going to learn about Crown Roast tonight. Let me tell you about my weekend experience. Sunday night we had a small dinner party and BBQ’d a rack of pork. Butcher that I was in my past, I just assumed the butchers would crack and notch the bones so it would be easier to carve the cooked roast. No such luck. After a messy 5 minutes using a non commercial meat cleaver the rack of pork was carved. Very tasty, but not as “pretty” as it should have been. Hopefully you did not forget to advise the butcher to “crack” the bone for the crown roast. By the way, butchers actually use saws these days rather than cleavers. They also tend to “fake” the crown roast by tying two racks of pork together,

7 Linda Hopkins { 12.08.09 at 12:13 PM }

Hi Nate, well I’ve had some different experience with my racks and crowns this week too… will tell you all about it tonight 🙂 Thanks for visiting the site!

8 Linda Hopkins { 12.08.09 at 12:15 PM }

Hi Joan, Thanks so much for visiting the site and the nice comment. To get the email for each new posting, just go to the home page and click on the “subscribe” button in the upper corner and sign up… it’s easy. See you tonight

9 Suzanne Tveit { 12.09.09 at 11:11 AM }

I made this lasagne the day after class since I already had homemade pesto in the freezer. Definitely a nice comfort food on cold days! This will be a nice make-ahead dish for ski days for game nights. I have enjoyed your class tremendously (I have also saved red pepper flakes from pizza restaurants!) and look forward to our final class tonight. Thanks again!

10 Linda Hopkins { 12.09.09 at 1:05 PM }

Hi Suzanne, so happy to hear that you made the lasagna – see you tonight (and you are in the drawing!)

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