This recipe is a combination of my homemade lasagna and two of my best friend's recipes for homemade lasagna. I do this lasagna once a year on New Years Eve. (My husband is Italian.) This is definitely a labor of love, but between the three of us I do believe that we have indeed come up with the perfect lasagna! Make sure you let this rest for 15 minutes before serving so that it can set up. Otherwise it will be an awful looking pile of sloppy deliciousness on your plate! Enjoy!
Brown the ground beef, Italian sausage, onions and garlic and pepperoni in a pot until they start to cook. It takes about 6 to 9 minutes to brown the meat. Drain and return to pot. Gently stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste,1/2 cup of water, white sugar, oregano, basil leaves, 1/4 cup of parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat for 1 hour. Meanwhile, If you are using quick cooking lasagna, soak in hot tap water for 15 minutes, for regular lasagna, boil in water and cool under a cold tap.
In mixing bowl combine, ricotta cheese, 1 Tbsp of the parsley, egg, and the parmesan cheese. Mix these ingredients together with a spoon
Begin building the lasagna layers.Use a 9×13 inch baking pan. Spread 1 Cup of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay 6 noodles across the layer of sauce. Spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the layer of noodles. Spread 2 cups of meat sauce over the riccotta cheese layer. Sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese over the Sauce layer.
Lay down the next layer of noodles, spread cottage cheese over noodles. Spread 2 cups of meat sauce over the cottage cheese layer. Sprinkle all of the remaining cheese on top and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley.
Bake Loosely covered with foil in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for approximately 15 minutes.