1 pound italian sausage (Jimmy Dean is very good)
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 c. minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed (use more for better flavor)
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1/2 c. water
2 T. sugar
4 T. chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. Fennel seeds (if desired)
1 tsp. italian seasoning
1 T. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper (more is even better)
4 T. chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 oz. container Ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 pound mozerella cheese, sliced
3/4 c. grated parmesan cheese (fresh or packaged, but NOT the shaker---ever!!!)
In a heavy, large pan (Dutch oven) cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, italian seasoning, 1 T. salt, pepper, and half of the parsley. Simmer, covered, for 90 minutes to 2 hours, stirring occassionally.
While sauce is cooking either cook the lasagna according to package directions and drain, OR, simply soak lasagna noodles in a pan of very hot water while the sauce simmers.
Preheat oven to 375º.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, remaining parsely, and 1/2 tsp. of salt.
When sauce is ready, spread 1 1/2 cups in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan (the heavier the better). Some baking pans are specifically made for lasagna and they do provide a more consistent result.
Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of the mozzerella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 c. of meat sauce over mozzerella, and sprinkle with 1/4 c. of the parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzerella and parmesan. Cover with foil which has been sprayed with a cooking spray to prevent sticking to the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, remove foil and bake another 20-30 minutes. Cheese will be golden brown and bubbly when dish is ready.
Cool about 10-15 minutes before serving.