Best if prepared a day ahead of time. Four major steps:
IV. LAYERING THE NOODLES AND BAKING
I. THE SAUCE
Early in the day start by cooking the sausage in large heavy sauce pan. (Brown 3 hot Italian sausage & 3 sweet sausage links. After browning, simmer for approx. 20 min until cooking is complete. Remove from pan. Cool & slice. Refrigerate & save for later).
After sausage are removed, using grease from sausage, saute 1 med chopped onion & 1 large clove garlic. (You may have to add a little butter to the pan). After onions are golden brown, drain excess grease. Remove onion & garlic. Using Ig spoon, mix 1 Ig can Italian tomato paste (12 oz) and sausage drippings (be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen sausage drippings. This makes the sauce dark and rich. Next add 2 lg cans (1 lb 12 oz) Italian Progresso tomato puree. Return onions & garlic to pot. Season sauce to taste. I like to use:
1 tbs oregano
1 tsp salt.
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp pepper.
Now, simmer the sauce (covered) for HOURS. The longer the better. Stir the sauce occasionally, making sure the sauce doesn''t stick to the bottom. Add water prn if sauce thickens too much. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the meatballs.
II. THE MEATBALLS
Mix meats (1-1 1/2 Ibs chuck chopped, 1/2 Ib ground pork, 1/2 Ib veal) with 3 eggs, 1 c. Italian bread crumbs, 1 tsp parsley (I prefer fresh chopped), 1 heaping tsp oregano, salt & pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic salt & basil. Shape into tiny meatballs (smaller than a walnut). Spread on a cookie sheet & brown in oven (450) for about 8-10 minutes. After cooking meatballs, refrigerate and save for later. Next prepare cheese mixture.
III. CHEESE MIXTURE
In a large bowl mix 1 Ig carton ( 2 lb or economy size) whole milk Sergento Ricotta cheese with 3 eggs, 1 tbs fresh chopped parsley, or 1 tsp dried flakes, 1/2 tsp salt & pepper. Next grate in a food processor 8 oz mozzarella & mix with riccota. Store in refrigera?tor ,
Shred remaining of the 1 Ib of mozzarella with food processor and save for later.
* Refrigerate cheese, slice sausage, & meatballs until noodles are cooked and sauce is a dark red color & rich in flavor (should be able to smell the Italian seasonings by now).
IV. COOK NOODLES AND LAYERING
Cook noodles as directed on package. Cook no longer than 10 min?utes. Drain with cold water and lay on waxed paper. Use a 9x13 deep baking pan. Arrange layers as follows:
Sauce mixed with some meatballs & sausage
Layer of mozzarella slices
Top last layer of noodles with a little of sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 for about 1 hr. Sauce should be bubbling (cut a small piece and see if it's heated through.
This recipe makes a lot - usually 1 large and 1 medium size baking pan. Can use left over cheese mixture (if any) to stuff large shell noodles or manicotta dishes. Don't substitute cottage cheese for ricotta; there is a difference. Italian brands are the best, especially Progresso Italian Tomato Puree. Also, Italian Progresso bread crumbs for meatballs.
The meatballs take the longest, I like making them on a separate day and storing them in refrigerator after browning.
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 recipe (6448g)|
|Recipe Makes: 4|
|Calories from Fat: 6640 (53%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 737.8g||984 %|
|Saturated Fat 321.3g||1606 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 287.4g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 70.2g|
|Cholesterol 3722.3mg||1145 %|
|Sodium 24827.3mg||856 %|
|Potassium 18723.5mg||493 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 679g||200 %|
|Dietary Fiber 55.8g||223 %|
|Sugars, other 623.2g|
|Protein 795.5g||1136 %|
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Calories per serving: 12536
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