Make the meat ragu sauce:
1 lb ground beef
1 lb bulk sweet or mild Italian sausage
1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoon tomato paste
3 jars of 24 ounces each prepared marinara sauce
2 cups water
- In a large dutch oven, cook both of the ground meat and the Italian sausage until browned. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes until they are soft. Season with the salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and stir through until combined with the meat. Add your jars of marinara sauce and water. Stir through and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Make the bechamel sauce:
½ cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk, whole or low-fat + more if needed
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 cup Italian Style shredded cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, romano, asiago blend)
- Heat a 2 quart pot over medium-high heat and melt your butter. Add the flour and cook until golden in color. Add your milk and whisk to quickly blend both the roux and the liquid together. Keep whisking until it comes to a boil. The mixture will thicken as it heats and once it boils at that point you can decide if it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. It should be smooth and still liquid enough. Add your cheese and stir through. If it is too thick, add a little more milk to make it thin. It should be the same thickness of a gravy but not too thick that your spoon stands up in it!
Make the ricotta mixture, mixture together in a small bowl and set aside:
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ground black pepper
To assemble the lasagna, you will need:
7 – 8 cups Prepared meat ragu sauce
4 – 5 cups Prepared bechamel sauce
2 cups Prepared ricotta mixture
3 boxes of Barilla no-cook lasagna sheets
2 cups shredded mozzarella
2 packages sliced provolone cheese
2 – 13”x9” pans
Assemble your lasagna in this order:
- Heat your oven to 365° F for a gas oven/375°F conventional oven.
- Add about 1 ½ cup of the meat ragu sauce on each the bottom of each of the pans.
- Put down one layer of lasagna sheets on top of the ragu sauce.
- Pour 1 - 1 ½ cup of the bechamel sauce on top of the first layer of lasagna sheets. Spread the bechamel all over this layer. You may add more to cover, but don’t go overboard. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella over the bechamel. Put down one layer of lasagna sheets on top.
- Pour 1 ½ - 2 cups of the meat ragu sauce then add another layer of lasagna sheets.
- Spread the entire 2 cups of ricotta cheese mixture carefully over this layer of lasagna sheets. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella. Put down one layer of lasagna sheets on top of the ricotta mixture.
- Pour 1 – 1 ½ cup of the bechamel sauce on top of the lasagna sheets and lay another layer of lasagna sheets on top.
- Pour 1 ½ cups – 2 cups of meat ragu sauce. This may be your last meat layer. So go ahead and split the remaining sauce between the two pans.
- If you have any bechamel left over, split between the two pans and drizzle over the meat ragu sauce.
- Cover each of the pans entirely with provolone slices. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
- Cook for 40-45 minutes until golden brown around the ends and bubbly. Let rest for about 15 minutes before serving.