The best lasagna is made with two different sauces: a tomato sauce and a cheese sauce. It’s the sort of dish that’s worth taking the time to make it right, but that doesn’t mean you have to slave away in the kitchen for hours. There are lots of ways to speed up the process and still enjoy spectacular results!

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

for the meat sauce:
a few splashes olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 whole head garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef
4 Italian sausages, casings removed
1 28 ounce can crushed or pureed tomatoes, juice reserved
1 cup beef or chicken broth
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 bay leaves
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper

for the cheese sauce:
2 eggs, whisked together
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pound ricotta cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream (35%)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper

for assembling the lasagna:
1 1 pound box ready-to-bake lasagna noodles
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Procedure

For the meat sauce, begin by splashing some olive oil into a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté just until they soften and begin to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the ground beef and sausage meat. Use a wooden spoon to break the meats up into very small pieces. Add the tomatoes and their juice, beef or chicken broth, oregano, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Stir well and continue heating until the entire mixture is simmering and heated through. It’s ready for the lasagna as soon as it heats through. By not browning the meat you avoid the long simmering time that would then be necessary to tenderize it, but still add the meat’s rich flavour. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if you like.

To make the cheese sauce, simply mix together the whisked eggs, the mozzarella and ricotta cheeses and the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

Lightly oil a 9- x 13-inch (3.5 L) baking pan. To assemble the lasagna, layer the ingredients in the pan in this order: 2 cups (500 mL) or so of the meat sauce, a layer of noodles, half of the cheese sauce, a third of the grated Parmesan cheese, another noodle layer, another meat sauce layer, another noodle layer, the remaining cheese sauce, a third of the grated Parmesan cheese, another noodle layer, the remaining meat sauce, and the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour.

Remove the foil and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, giving the top a chance to get golden brown and crusty.