Have you ever CRAVED something and "thought" you had all of the ingredients, only to find you kinda had the ingredients but you were too far gone and you decided to plow through and hope for the best? Now you know about this adventure I am about to share with you.
This lasagna turned out really good. This time improvising worked.
Start off by boiling 12 lasagna noodles in salted water for about 10 minutes. Remove the noodles and lay them out flat on waxed paper. Lightly coat the cooked noodles with olive oil so they will not stick together.
Off to a good start with the vegetables. Chop 1/2 medium onion, rough chop 2 cloves of garlic, chop 2 carrots and 2 stalks of celery. Just for fun and because I had fresh basil, add in 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil.
Saute the vegetables in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Ok this where things went off the beaten path. Brown 1 lb. of lean ground beef and 1 lb. of Italian sausage. I used 1 lb. of regular pork sausage because that is what I had. Brown meat until it is no longer pink. Drain fat from pan and discard.
Stir in two 16 ounce cans of tomato sauce and one 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes. Season with salt and black pepper. Remove pan from burner and allow to cool slightly.
I didn't have enough ricotta cheese and substituted sour cream. This added an amazing dimension to the flavor of this lasagna! In a medium bowl, mix together one 15 ounce container of ricotta cheese, one 16 ounce container of sour cream, 2 beaten eggs, 2 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano and 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
Now, we are ready to assemble! Coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with the meat/sauce mixture.
Place 4 noodles length-wise, over lapping slightly, then place a noodle at each end.
Spread half of what is left of the meat mixture over the noodles.
Spread 1/2 of the ricotta/sour cream mixture over the meat.
Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese over the ricotta mixture. Repeat with another layer of noodles, meat, etc. Top with 1-1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
Allow to cool for 30 minutes so the lasagna will set and stay together once you cut it to serve.