The Biggest, Baddest Lasagna you will every try!

lasagna

This is our own spin off of Emeril Lagasse”s “Manly Man Lasagna”  Be warned…it is huge…will feed a lot of people and takes a LOT of groceries.  It is SOOOO worth it.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound of hot Italian sausage, casings removed
4 (25 ounce) jars of tomato sauce
3 1/2 pounds of spinach
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound of sliced mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Parmesan Bechamel sauce (recipe follows)
30 ounces Ricotta cheese
2 cups grated Fontina cheese
3 cups of grated Mozzerella cheese
3 pounds of dried lasagna noodles
5 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Bolognese sauce, recipe follows

Directions
Cook the sausage in the olive oil until well browned on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato sauce to the pan and allow the sauce to simmer, for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

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Bring a large pot of salted water cook the spinach and finely chop and set aside until ready to assemble the lasagna.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and season with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and have given off their liquid, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Set aside until ready to assemble the lasagna.

In a bowl, combine the 2 cups of the Bechamel sauce, the ricotta, Fontina, and mozzarella cheeses. Set aside until ready to assemble the lasagna.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 15 1/2 by 11 1/2 by 4-inch roasting pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Ladle 4 cups of the Italian sausage-tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan. Lay lasagna noodles across the top of the tomato sauce. Spread 1/2 of the spinach and half of the mushrooms over the top of the pasta, and pour 3 cups of the Parmesan Bechamel over the mushrooms and spinach.

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Sprinkle 1 cup of the Parmesan over the bechamel, as well as 1/2 the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with another layer of 6 lasagna sheets. Place 1/2 of the bolognese over the lasagna and top with another layer of pasta. Pour another 4 cups of the tomato sausage sauce over the pasta, and top with another layer of pasta. Spread the remaining spinach, mushrooms and bechamel over the pasta and sprinkle another cup of Parmesan over top. Top with the remaining ricotta cheese mixture and lay another row of pasta over the cheese mixture. Spread the remaining bolognese sauce over the pasta and top with another row of pasta sheets. Pour the remaining tomato sausage sauce over the pasta.

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Wrap the top of the roasting pan with aluminum foil and set the roasting pan on a baking sheet. Bake covered for 1 1/2 hours, or until the pasta sheets are cooked through. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and remove and discard the aluminum foil. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top of the tomato sauce, and return the pan to the oven. Bake until the cheese is well browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow lasagna to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Parmesan Bechamel Sauce:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
8 cups milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups grated Parmesan

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add the milk and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and Parmesan and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

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Bolognese Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds ground pork
2 pounds ground beef
3 cups chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 pound thinly sliced button mushrooms
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 cups dry white wine
4 cups beef stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a large Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cloves and nutmeg to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the ground meats and cook over high heat until well browned, stirring constantly, about 20 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and stock and simmer over medium-high heat until sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add the cream and season with salt and pepper.
Set aside until ready to assemble lasagna.

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