Let's get one thing straight, I don't know too much about Tony Bennett but I do know he is a singer. I also know that he sang Anything Goes and The Lady is a Tramp. I also know he has sung with Lady Gaga multiple times. That's about all I know about him.
Today I'm going to talk about his mama. I was looking through my Rachael Ray Everyday Magazine and came across this recipe for Tony Bennett's Mother's Lasagna. I generally skip past lasagna recipes because they are either very similar to the one I use or crazy out there. This one was similar to the one I use but had a homemade sauce with hot sausage in it.
As I'm a huge pasta fan I knew I had to try this version. It was a simple sauce as well which earned extra points in my book. It used canned plum tomatoes, tomato puree and tomato paste. I like that I didn't have to get fresh tomatoes because they are only good where I live for about 2 months out of the year and this month isn't one of them.
I whipped up the sauce and had it simmering on the stove while I made the ground beef and the ricotta mixture. This recipe is not exactly how his mom made it but it's pretty close. I didn't use as much ricotta and instead used some mozzarella. I used no boil noodles because I don't have time to boil the noodles, drain them, wait for them to cool, and then make the lasagna. Otherwise it's very similar.
The sauce was so simple but really flavorful from the sausage, ground beef, and onions. The ricotta mixed with eggs and mozzarella was perfect. The addition of the Pecorino Romano gave the lasagna a nice bite. It took about an hour and 15 minutes to make and bake but it was well worth it and about 45 minutes of that was hands off time. So I made the lasagna, popped it in the oven, and was able to play with J while it baked. The sauce could easily be made the day before.
I liked that there was a bit of spice to the sauce and a bite to the cheese mixture. The sauce was smooth and delicious. This is definitely a lasagna I'll be keeping on our meal rotation!
- 1¼ lb. ground beef
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- ½ lb. spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can (28 oz) Italian plum tomatoes
- 1 can (28 oz) tomato puree
- 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
- 1 t. salt
- 1 t. black pepper
- 1 box no boil lasagna noodles
- 2 eggs
- 2 c. ricotta cheese
- 2 c. mozzarella cheese
- 12 oz. Pecorino Romano, grated
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large pot, cook the onions and olive oil over medium high heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring until translucent.
- Add in the sausage and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sausage is cooked.
- Add in the tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes.
- Add the ground beef to the tomato sauce mixture and remove from heat.
- In a large bowl combine the eggs, ricotta, and mozzarella. Mix well.
- Place a half cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
- Place 3 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Place ⅓ of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles and spread evenly. Sprinkle with 3 ounces of Pecorino Romano. Spread with ¼ of the sauce mixture. Repeat the layers two more times.
- End by placing 3 lasagna noodles on top and pouring the remaining ¼ of the sauce over top of the noodles then sprinkling it with the remaining 3 ounces of Pecorino Romano. I also sprinkles a handful of mozzarella cheese on top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes. Cut and serve.
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