One of my husband's favorite meals has always been lasagna, so that's what I made for Valentine's dinner along with salad and bread sticks. I have made this for so long that I don't remember where the recipe originated, but it has been changed up a little over the years. It is a tad labor intensive, but the taste is worth the work! I make this one with ground turkey and turkey sausage, but you can easily substitute ground beef and an Italian sausage.
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground Italian turkey sausage
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (12 oz) can tomato paste
1 (12 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp chopped parsley
16 oz ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 to 1 lb mozzarella cheese, grated
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
In a large pot, cook turkey, sausage, onion and garlic over medium heat until well browned; drain. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and water. Add sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, 1 tbsp salt, pepper and 2 tbsp parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles for 8 to 10 minutes in boiling water; drain and rinse in cold water. In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese and egg, remaining parsley and 1/2 tsp salt.
Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. To assemble, start with 1 1/2 cups meat sauce. Layer with noodles then 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1/3 of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers ending with mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 25 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before serving.
This has proven to be one of those meals that are difficult to get a good picture of...but I tried! I made this for my parents 50th Anniversary last month and did the layering a little different. I did a layer of sauce, then noodles, then cheeses, the noodles and repeated. I actually thought that it held it's shape a lot better with that order and it sure didn't affect the taste to do it differently!
This is the "traditional" layering and while it was quite yummy, it was a little messier (not that it really matters though!) Very yummy meal for my special guy! Hey, I even did the dishes from dinner for him ;-)