I have bookmarked this top ranked, highly recommended recipe from three years ago but I have never had the motivation to make this after going through the long list of ingredients. It’s a little more work from making your own meat sauce, but totally worth it! It’s best for sharing and big party.

Edits from the original recipe:
1.      Replaced dry basil with fresh basil leaves
2.      Added zucchini to the tomato meat sauce
3.      It’s very tricky to cook the lasagna noodles as they always stick together. A few tips to avoid them from sticking together.
A.      Use a large enough pot
B.      Add a little vegetable oil to the boiling water
C.      Keep stirring during the first few minutes of cooking
D.     Don’t overcook (Keep it Al Dente)
E.      Rinse in cold water after cooking to remove the residual starch on the surface
4.      Prepare the lasagna one day ahead for the flavors to blend in and sit in the fridge overnight. Let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before baking.

Recipes adopted from All Recipes
Yield: 12 servings

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 cup fresh basils
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cups zucchini, diced to 5mm cubes
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound grated mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.          In a saucepan, cook together sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, fresh basil, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add in the diced zucchini in the last 1/2 hour.
2.          Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles according to the pack instructions to Al Dente.
3.          In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
4.          Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
5.          To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, spray foil with cooking spray.
6.          After this step, you may put in the fridge and sit overnight to allow the flavor to blend in. Let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before baking. Or, if you are running out of time. You may proceed to baking step 7.
7.          Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.


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