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3 PINES LASAGNA AL FORNO
Latest update is 3/26/12. I've developed this over many years. It seems that every time I prepare this dish, I change something, whether it's due to the weather, my judgement, or just plain whim Feel free to change whatever you want---just be sure to have a DEEP pan (at least 3-4 inches). You will need a full pot of sauce to make a really large yummy lasagna. Just remember that the sauce for lasagna should not be as "soupy" as a normal pasta sauce might be; and if you're in the habit of adding oil to your pasta water, don't, and never never rinse your cooked pasta!---other wise your finished dish will be soupy and fall apart.

Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time (about 3-4 hours minimum) to prepare everything and get it right. It will pay off. I actually sometimes make the sauce one day and the finished dish the next day.
Serving Size : 8

SAUCE:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound extra Lean ground beef
1/2 pound hot or mild Italian sausage -- casings removed
1 medium Onion -- cut in chunks
1 medium carrot -- cut in chunks
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cans tomato paste (6 oz.ea.)
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cans San Marzano tomatoes (28 oz.) -- crushed by hand
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
1-2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesaan cheese
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
FILLING:
2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese
2 eggs - lightly beaten
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
ASSEMBLY:
2 packages whole grain lasagna noodles -- 16-24 noodles needed
1 recipe sauce (above)
1 recipe filling (above)
1 pound shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

SAUCE: Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or large kettle. Crumble beef and sausage into the pan and cooked until nolonger pink, breaking up clumps with a large fork. Meanwhile, process the onion, carrot and garlic in a food processor until very finely chopped. Add vegetables to the meat, mix well and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper to taste then stir in crushed red pepper and oregano. Add tomaoto paste and mix well. Add the wine and mix well. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and bay leaves and mix well.

Bring slowly to a simmer; cover and simmer 1-2 hours stirring occasionally. Add the brown sugar and the 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese amd mix well, simmering for anothger 15-30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings and remove the bay leaves. (This can be prepared early and set aside up to 2 hours, even a day ahead.)

FILLING: In a medium bowl, all filling ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.

TO ASSEMBLE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles (you'll need about 24) in a very large kettle in boiling salted water until just al dente, about 7-8 minutes and drain into a colander. Lightly spray a 13x9x4 baking pan** with non-stick cooking spray. Be sure to have all the all the assembly items ready before beginning. (NOTE: **If using a smaller 9" square pan, use 16 noodles and refrigerate any leftover filling.)

Spoon 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom to barely cover. Carefully layer ingredients over the sauce in the order given below:
- Single layer of noodles, cut or torn to reach sides of pan
- About 1/2 cup of the sauce---just enough to barely cover the noodles
- Dollops of filling spread to the sides of the pan
- About one-third of the shredded Mozzarella cheese

Repeat the process 2-3 more times. Top all with remaining Noodles. Spoon remaining sauce over all to cover. Sprinkle with the 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.

Cut a large piece of foil big enough to "tent" it over the pan, and seal around the edges tightly as possible. Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil cover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned on top. Let stand at least 20 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information estimated for 1 large serving (approx.8 oz.) Calories 615 Sugars 4 g; Total Carbohydrates 49 g; Total Fats 16.5 g; Sodium 750 mg; Cholesterol 55 mg; Protein 15 g; Fiber 4 g; Potassium 350 mg

Copyright 2012 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved