The World's Best Lasagna

No, really!


This recipe takes a lot of work, but the results are stupendous every time.  My mother, Beverly Erbacher, discovered this recipe in her world traipsing days when she visited Northern Italy as a Travel Agent.  We had to do a substitution for one of the cheeses that you just can't get in the U.S., but we've made as close a match as possible.

You're going to need a REALLY LARGE lasagna pan to hold this recipe.  Mine is a 13" x 18" x 4" pan, and it takes some hefty muscles to lift it when its loaded with this dish.  (You can cut the recipe in half and use a normal-sized baking pan.)


Put a huge pot of water on to boil.   When it comes to a boil, add a teaspoon of salt and the lasagna noodles.  But in the meantime:

In a large skillet cook the sausage and ground beef together and drain.  Run the stale bread quickly under water and then squeeze the water out, leaving a ball of bread dough.  Crumble the bread dough in thumbnail sized pieces  into the meat mixture.  Add one cup of the chopped parsley, 2 cups of parmesan cheese, and the three beaten eggs to the meat mixture and set aside.


This is my family's favorite stage of this recipe, because it makes the whole house smell so good.  In a large (Dutch Oven sized) pot, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.  Then turn the heat way up.  Add the chopped onions to the hot oil... and BURN THEM!  I mean BURN THEM BLACK!   When they are completely BLACK, pour on a cup of red wine. (I put one of those spatter screens over the pot and pour through it.  Watch out for the resulting steam.)

To the wine and blackened onions, add the chopped tomatoes and their juices, another cup of chopped parsley, and the meat mixture.

Shred the Mozzarella and Monterey Jack Cheeses together in a large bowl.

When the noodles are done cooking (about 10 minutes), drain them and rinse in cold water until they are cool enough to handle.  Layer sauce, noodles, cheese, noodles, cheese, sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce, until you run out of noodles or sauce.  Be sure to end with a layer of noodles.  Cover with a goodly layer of parmesan cheese, and bake in a 350 oven for 35 minutes.  Cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into it.

Serve with salad, garlic bread, and a nice Chianti.  Even more wonderful the next day and the next.  I usually freeze half the recipe and keep it tucked away for surprise hungry guests.

Blithely...  is the creation of
Brenda Sinclair Sutton

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Photo courtesy of Brian Sharples|