The holidays are a time when your families and friends gather, typically for a meal. Laughter and celebration is just one reason, but food is always the common denominator when bringing people together. Most times, especially during the holidays, you want something that is easy, everyone loves and doesn't break the bank.
One of my favorite meals for a group, especially during the colder months is lasagna. I mean, who doesn't love a hearty meal of cheese and pasta that is filled with carbs and home and love? Pair it with a salad, wine and friends and you have instant party!
The fun thing about lasagna is you can make it so many different ways and it always comes out amazingly good. I've made it with turkey and mushrooms and a white sauce, with and without homemade ricotta cheese and no meat, make it with store bought ingredients or make everything yourself, roll it up or fill it like a carnivore.. what ever your preference your guests will love it and you.
For your table of ten on this day of Christmas I give to thee...
2 Cloves garlic, smashed
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
1 cup water (pasta water)
2 bay leave
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups ricotta cheese
1 pound lasagne noodles, cooked and drained (reserving 1 cup of
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, cooked and sliced
1 pound hot Italian sausage, cooked and sliced
1 1/2 pounds mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan and Romano cheese
In a large kettle, saute garlic in oil until golden. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover, simmer, stirring frequently, for 25 minutes.
Combine ricotta cheese and eggs in a large bowl, stir until well blended
Assemble lasagna. Spoon about 1/2 cup sauce into the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Arrange 1/3 of the cooked noodles over the sauce, spoon on 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture, 1/3 of the sausage slices and 1/3 of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with Parmesan and/or Romano Cheese. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, ending with mozzarella slices and any extra sauce. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F) 35 minutes or until bubbly. Cool 15 minutes, cut into squares. Serve with Parmesan and Romano cheese.