Merry in the Morning recipe: Michelle Bogowith’s Christmas Lasagna

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• 1 lb. ground beef
• 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
• 1 onion -chopped
• 4 garlic cloves -minced
• 1 (30 oz.) can tomato sauce
• 1 (30 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
• 2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 4 tablespoons Italian seasoning
• 1 teaspoons dried basil leaves
• 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
• 3 Tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
• 2 (15 oz.) whole milk Ricotta cheese
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• Package of lasagna noodles

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Make the meat sauce. Add beef and sausage to a large skillet over medium-high heat, adding the onion and garlic. Cook until meat is browned and drain the fat.
3. Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and spices (3 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon Basil and 1 tablespoon Parsley) Combine & stir. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the sauce for 1 hour.
4. In a large bowl, add 1 cup mozzarella, the ricotta, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 2 tablespoons of Parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon basil. Stir until well incorporated.
5. Cook the pasta al dente, according to it’s package directions.
6. In a 13×9 inch baking dish, add a layer of meat sauce. Layer 3 lasagna noodles, the ricotta mixture, and meat sauce. Repeat the layers.
7. After adding the final layer of noodles, Add a layer of meat sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan to the top.
8. Cover with foil that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil. Bake 15 more minutes.

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