Her Spaghetti or Lasagna Sauce
Sometimes in the realm of cooking, you reach a point where you’ve changed a recipe so much you get to call it yours and no longer have to call it someone else’s. My friend Sarah’s mom Linny does get the credit for suggesting the roma tomato and wine substitutions!
I’m going to put on my big girl chef’s hat and acknowledge that I’ve made several changes now to my spaghetti sauce/lasagna sauce and I’m ready to call it mine.
With the changes I’ve made the total time for lasagna is now closer to 5 hours. The sauce alone on the original recipe is about two hours tops.
*new* Roma tomato process: 1.75 hours (15 min prep, 1.5 hours in the oven)
Spaghetti/Lasagna sauce: 2 hours (20-30 min prep/active, 1.5 hour simmer time)
Lasagna assembly and cook time: 1.5 hours (20-40 min boiling noodles/prep/assembly, 50 min in the oven)
Total time: 5.25 hours
If you’re thinking, wow, I really don’t want to devote 5 hours for one meal, amazing though it may be the original recipe is here and below you’ll see my new recipe. I do think making my own tomato sauce is worth it for the flavor it adds, but if you prefer a simplified method, check out the original recipe, and grab cans instead! That’s definitely a tasty option. Also, I rarely make lasagna for the two of us, we prefer to use the spaghetti sauce as a ragu on bread or on my homemade pasta so that’s an option as well.
Recipe makes 12 serving (ish)
- 3 lbs Roma tomatoes stems removed and sliced in half lengthwise
- 5 cloves- 1 head of garlic (adjust according to preference)
- Olive oil
- (Optional) fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, basil work best-but there’s a lot of seasoning in the sauce itself so as you please!)
- 12 oz tomato paste
- 1 chopped vidalia onion
- 1 pound Italian sausage (any kind)
- 1 pound lean ground beef/ or ground sirloin
- Tomato Sauce Mixture (above)
- 1 cup Red or White wine
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (or a little more)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
For the lasagna:
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced (my vegetable peeler provides the best slices for me)
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the big pieces)
- Pre-heat oven to 325 (ours) (normal world: 350) degrees
- Place 3 lbs Roma tomatoes: cut in half lengthwise, cut side up on a roasting pan, drizzle each tomato with olive oil, and pepper. Place a peeled garlic cloves on as many of the halves as you prefer.
- Cook the tomatoes 1.5-2 hrs; stirring occasionally
- Place the mixture into a food processor or blender and add the tomato paste. Set aside.
- In a Dutch oven, sauté onion, over medium heat.
- Add sausage, and ground beef, cook thoroughly, over medium heat until well browned.
- Stir in tomato mixture (above), and wine.
- Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, thyme, oregano, bay, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley.
- Simmer, covered fully or with a splatter screen, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. (stirring every 12 minutes works best on my stove top)
- Remove bay leaf and serve!
If you’re making spaghetti, once you’ve finished the above you’re done! Make your favorite pasta noodle or just serve on a slice of bread as a ragu and enjoy (with a lot of leftovers)!
If you’re making lasgana continue on:
- (You’ll want to start this step while the sauce mixture is simmering- remember it’ll take awhile for enough water to boil lasagna noodles… so plan accordingly 30-40 mins left on the simmering timer works best in my kitchen). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.
- While the noodles are boiling: In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Also while the noodles are boiling: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 3-6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.