Only because someone asked, here is the official Rickatron Lasagna recipe. This is my homemade approach, I don’t know how to cut corners; so for the lazy foodies out there – you are on your own.
two full trays of lasagna (maybe one small one also left over). I usually make one, and put one in the freezer for next week or next month!
1 6 pound can of San Marzano tomatoes from Italy (shown above). I get them from Costco, other San Marzano regions will work.
2 cups fresh shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
2 pounds of Italian sausage (I use one pound roll sausage such as Bob Evans and one pound of store brand)
1 pound ground chuck, 90/10
2 of the large tubs of Ricotta, whole milk
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon of dried chopped basil
1 teaspoon oregano dried
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
lasagna pasta (I like the Barilla ones that don’t require the boiling)
1 pound sliced, smoked provolone cheese
1 pound shredded mozzarella (don’t buy it shredded, it doesn’t melt as well)
The magic is the sauce. Take the whole tomatoes from the large can and separate them from the sauce in the big can. Put the sauce in a large pot and start to get it warm over medium heat. Blend the tomatoes in a food processor, likely in batches of five tomatoes or so until they are “as chunky as your family likes”.
Bring the in-can sauce coupled with the food processor tomatoes to a light boil, add the 1/3 cup of basil, oregano and pepper. Stir well, reduce heat. Add the honey, stir again. Place in half of shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and mix by hand for about 4 minutes to ensure no burning on the bottom. Let this slowly simmer for about 4 hours. Turn off, let cool over night if available. The essential oils of the basil will keep moving around during this time.
Mix all of the meats together in a large mixer until they are fully blended. Then brown in all in a skillet and drain the excess grease.
Combine the shredded mozzarella with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Combine the eggs (beaten), 1 tablespoon of basil and ricotta cheese in a mixer and blend until light and fluffy.
Build the lasagna to taste. I usually build it this way:
-2 ladles of sauce on the bottom of pan
-layer of pasta
-Generous layer of sausage beef combo meat
-2 ladles of sauce
-layer of pasta
-2 ladles of sauce (may need only one ladle)
-Spread half or so of the ricotta mixture
-Layer with sliced provolone
-Layer of pasta
-2 ladles of sauce (or only one) to fully coat the build
-Spread shredded cheese blend on top with Parmigiano-Reggiano and Mozzarella blend
-Garnish top with pepper and possibly whole fresh basil leaves
Cover with foil, be sure that the foil doesn’t touch the cheese.
Bake per pasta recommendations, probably 375 for 50 minutes or so.