3tablespoonschopped fresh parsley leaves or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
1½teaspoonschopped fresh oregano leaves or ½ teaspoon dried oregano
1tablespoonchopped fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried basil
For the Cheese and Pasta Layers
15ounceswhole-milk Ricotta cheese
1large egglightly beaten
1tablespoonchopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1¼cupsgrated Parmesan cheesedivided
¼teaspoonground black pepper
1poundwhole milk Mozzarella(4 cupshredded
9ouncesno-boil lasagna noodles12-15 noodles
Heat oven to 350°F and adjust oven rack to middle position. Spray a 9x13-inch casserole or lasagna pan with nonstick cooking spray.
For the Sauce:
In a large Dutch oven set over medium heat, cook the beef and sausage until no pink remains. Strain the cooked meat and set it aside (in a separate bowfor later.
Return the Dutch oven to the stovetop and heat the oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent and has softened. Add garlic, stir and cook an additional 30 seconds.
Add tomatoes and tomato puree, stir and reduce heat to medium-low.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar and hot water – stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the sugar water to the tomato mixture and stir well.
Add salt, black pepper, parsley, oregano and basil. Stir well.
Add the cooked meat mixture and cook 15 minutes or until sauce is hot and has thickened a little.
For the Cheese and Pasta:
In a medium bowl, whisk together Ricotta, egg, basil and ½ cup Parmesan.
To Assemble the Lasagna:
Pour ¼ cup meat sauce into the prepared baking dish and spread it over the entire bottom surface.
Place 3 to 3½ noodles, side-by-side, across the top of the sauce and slightly press the noodles into the sauce.
Place 1-teaspoon-dollops, about 2 inches apart, of the Ricotta mixture over the noodles.
Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese evenly over the Ricotta layer.
Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the Mozzarella layer.
Pour 1½ cups sauce evenly over the Parmesan layer.
REPEAT the process, beginning with the noodle layer, 2 more times.
For the top layer, place 3 noodles on top, spread with the remaining sauce, and sprinkle with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Spray a piece of aluminum foil (large enough to cover the lasagnwith nonstick cooking spray and cover the lasagna.
Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, then remove the foil. Continue cooking the lasagna 30-45 minutes or until the cheese is toasty brown in spots and the lasagna is bubbling and gorgeous.
Transfer lasagna to a cooling rack and cool 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.