12 Layer Lasagna

12 Layer Lasagna

Did you know that the history of Lasagna goes back 1000's of years? Crazy.  It might not even have been originally Italian! It was probably a Greek dish that the Romans brought back to Italy.

Of course, it was perfected in Italy.  How could it not be? Our version of this Italian Classic promises the flavor that only the mother of a mob boss could unleash.   Why 12 layers? Because 11 isn't enough.  Check out the Low-Fat suggestions to have all of the flavor and scrap more than half of the fat.

For the Meat Sauce: Cook Lasagna according to directions.  In Large skillet combine sausage, onion and garlic. Cook until the sausage is browned.  Stir in  tomato paste, diced tomatoes, sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, wine and Balsamic vinegar.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Chop basil finely and mix in after cooking.

To make the ricotta mixture: blend ricotta, egg, parsley and salt. Set aside.

For the Cheese layer: just keep them separate and apply individually.

Putting it all together:  This makes two 13-9 pans.  One for now.  One for later.  Put a small amount of sauce on the bottom of the pan to ease sticking.  Now start the layering.  Start with lasagna.  Spread a layer of Ricotta.  Then spread the sauce and sprinkle with the two cheeses.  Repeat. For the final layer just do lasagna, sauce and the cheeses.

To bake:  Cover and bake in a 375 oven until hot and bubbly.  45 minutes to one hour.  Let rest 5 minutes before cooking.

To freeze:  Do not bake first.  Cover and freeze.  When ready to cook, thaw in refrigerator over night and cook according to directions.

Meat Sauce:
Lasagna, uncooked 2 lbs (16 slices per pan)
Sausage, Sweet Italian 2 lbs
Onion1 Large
Garlic, minced3 cloves
Tomato Paste 12 oz
Tomatoes, diced2 14 1/2 oz cans
Tomato Sauce 1 6 oz can
Sugar 2 tsp
Sea Salt 2 tsp
Basil Leaves, fresh, chopped 3 TBS
Red Pepper, Dried, Crushed 1/2 tsp
Balsamic Vinegar 1 TBS
Cabernet Sauvignon 2 TBS
Ricotta Mixture:
Ricotta cheese 2 lbs
Eggs 2 large
Sea Salt 1 tsp
Parsley Flakes, fresh chopped 6 TBS
Cheeses you'll need:
Mozzarella Cheese 4 cups
Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, grated 1 cup

Low-Fat Options:
Use Lowfat Turkey Sausage, Low fat Ricotta Cheese, Soy based Mozzarella, 1/2 the Parmigiano-Reggiano and 4 egg whites instead of 2 eggs.