Lasagna, my comfort food. Although mom was mostly Irish and dad was 100% Polish, my family made a mean lasagna. Jeff’s family is Italian, half from the north of Italy and half from Sicily. He will tell you rosemary is only for potatoes, basil is for Sunday sauce. However, even he is a convert to my mother’s liberal use of rosemary in her red sauce.
Enjoy with a glass or two of Gentleman Farmer Napa Valley Red Wine.
Make the sauce. Heat olive oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Crumble the ground pork and sausage into the pot and brown, about five minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a plate. Add additional oil if necessary. Add onions and cook till translucent and slightly amber, about ten minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Make a space in the center of the pot and add the tomato paste. Cook for three minutes to slightly caramelize.
Add canned tomatoes, crushing with your hands or chopping them before adding. Add wine and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes to bring all the flavors together and sauce has thickened.
Assemble the lasagna. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Cook the lasagna noodles in boiling water until just shy of al dente, about 4 to 5 minutes (they will continue to cook once lasagna is assembled in the oven). Drain and coat lightly with olive oil to prevent them from sticking together.
Reserve 8 ounces (one cup) of mozzarella. In a bowl, mix together the remaining mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, and heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon about ½ cup of the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish and spread out evenly. Top with a even single layer of noodles. Top with ⅓ of the remaining sauce and scatter ⅓ of the cheese mixture evenly over. Repeat two more times with noddle, sauce, cheese. Top the lasagna with the reserved mozzarella.
Cover with aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet to prevent any bubbling-over issues in your oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake an additional 20 minutes to give it a golden crust.