Food for Comfort

Making people food in their time of need is a long honored tradition. Someone is ill. There is a death in the family. A new child is born. The family has so much going on that the extended family, friends and neighbors come together with food to allow life to continue with one less decision of what to eat.

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My “go to” dish to make for others in those situations is lasagna. It serves a lot, everyone likes it and it reheats very well.

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This recipe uses both ground beef and Italian sausage.

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Boiling the noodles.

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Getting the onions and carrots soft.

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Starting the layering process.

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Two meats = two pots or pans.

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Mixing it all together.

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Getting the cheese ready.

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And spread onto the noodles.

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More cheese.

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Three-Cheese Lasagna with Italian Sausage

Makes: 8



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 16 ounces lean ground beef
  • 8 ounces bulk spicy Italian sausage
  • 8 ounces bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper


  • 15 lasagna noodles (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 15-ounce containers part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 3/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese (about 1 1/4 pounds)


FOR SAUCE:                 Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and garlic; sauté until softened, about 12 minutes. Add beef and sausages to pan; sauté until cooked through, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until flavors blend and sauce measures about 5 cups, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Cool.

FOR LASAGNA:                  Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Drain; cover with cold water.

Combine ricotta and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese in medium bowl. Mix in spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs.

Drain pasta and pat dry. Spread 1/2 cup sauce over bottom of 13×9-inch glass baking dish. Place 5 noodles over sauce, overlapping to fit. Spread half of ricotta-spinach mixture evenly over noodles. Sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella cheese evenly over ricotta-spinach mixture. Spoon 1 1/2 cups sauce over cheese, spreading with spatula to cover (sauce will be thick). Repeat layering with 5 noodles, remaining ricotta-spinach mixture, 2 cups mozzarella and 1 1/2 cups sauce. Arrange remaining 5 noodles over sauce. Spread remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese evenly over lasagna. (Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.) Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake lasagna 40 minutes; uncover and bake until hot and bubbly, about 10 minutes more. Let lasagna stand 15 minutes before serving.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Beef, Cheese2, Italian, Pasta, Pork

Author:The Ranting Chef

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2 Comments on “Food for Comfort”

  1. July 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Normally, I just put a cheesy meat mixture in the noodles and use a marinara. I had not thought of doing a bolognese.. I will have to try that!


  2. July 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    Looks yummy! I’ve used ricotta and spinach filling for Stuffed Shells Florentine but I’ve never used it in Lasagne – great recipe!


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