I had some of my brother’s 11 year old friends come over to our house the other day to “hang out”. Trust me – they weren’t just hanging out that day. When they left, I was astonished by the trail of mess they left behind them! Anyways, this was not the first time they came over, and it probably will not be the last either. Though whenever they come over, they would always ask me for my specialty – cheesy oven baked lasagne. I am always proud of making it for them, so today; I decided to share this famous recipe with you!
[Serves 8 – 10]
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 500 grams minced beef
- 100 grams Italian sausage, chopped
- 1 jar 13oz tomato sauce (I used Ragú®)
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 cups chicken/beef/vegetable broth
- 1/8 cups white balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 cups grape juice
- 1 tsp sugar, dried oregano salt and pepper
- 3 pieces of dried/fresh bay leaves
- 12 pieces lasagna sheets
- 4 Tbs parmesan cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese (more or less if needed)
Begin by preparing the ingredients. Chop the vegetables, and Italian sausage, set aside.
In a large pot under medium heat, pour the 1 Tbs of olive oil. Begin by frying the 4 chopped garlic cloves until aromatic. Add the Italian sausage and ground beef to the pot until well browned and cooked through, for about 10 minutes. Drain the liquid fats and oils from the meat by using a strainer.
Add in the diced carrot, the 1/2 onion, and bay leaves to the meat. Cook for another 10 minutes.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes.
Mix in the tomato sauce until well incorporated then add the 1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar and grape juice. Season with the 1 tsp of salt, pepper, sugar and the dried oregano. Stir to combine. Allow it to simmer, covered, for about 1 hour and 30 minutes whilst stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, boil the 12 lasagna sheets in a pot with salted water. Follow the package instructions. Once cooked through, drain the lasagna noodles and rinse under cold water to avoid them from sticking to one another. Lay 4 lasagna sheets in the bottom of a 12 x 8 inch baking dish. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Once the lasagna meat sauce has completely simmered for 1 hour and a half, taste it and add any more seasoning if necessary according to your taste. Spoon half of the lasagna onto the top of the first lasagna sheet layer.
Evenly layer a 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese on top of the meat sauce, followed by 1 Tbs of the parmesan cheese.
Continue layering the lasagna in this way – lasagna noodle, sauce, cheese, lasagna noodle, sauce, cheese, lasagna noodle. Then, top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 2 Tbs of parmesan cheese. For decoration, sprinkle the top of the lasagna with some paprika, dried oregano leaves and chilli peppers.
Pop the lasagna into the preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the top cheesy layer is golden brown in colour.
Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly for 10 minutes. Serve warm.