Lamb Ragu Lasagna
4-6 hrs., plus 1 hr.
4-6 hrs., plus 1 hr.
- 3 1/2 pounds lamb cubes
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste (6 ounces)
- 1 medium yellow sweet onion, finely diced
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 containers (15 ounces each) part-skim milk ricotta cheese
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated (8 ounces)
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil, for greasing
- 20 ounces oven-ready lasagna noodles (about 24 noodle sheets)
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 12 slices
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- To prepare ragu, in a large Dutch oven (or slow-cooker), combine the lamb, tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, onion, oregano, garlic, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low and slowly simmer, covered, until the meat is very tender and shreds easily, 4 to 6 hours. (In a slow cooker, just combine everything and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours.)
- Once tender, shred the meat and stir it into the sauce (gently pressing the meat with a potato masher works well for this). If the sauce seems too runny, continue simmering for 5 to 10 minutes uncovered to thicken slightly. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt as needed.
- For the filling, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, basil, parsley, eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl and stir until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
- When the lamb ragu is ready, preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C). Grease a large roasting pan, preferably one that’s 14” x 10” (or two smaller casserole dishes), with olive oil.
- Spread 1/4 of the sauce on the bottom of the pan and top with 1/4 of the lasagna noodles followed by 1/2 of the ricotta mixture. Top with another 1/4 of the lasagna noodles, followed by 1/4 of the sauce and 1/4 of the lasagna noodles. Next, top with the remaining ricotta mixture, then 1/4 of the sauce. Finish with the remaining noodles and sauce.
- Sprinkle the top with the parmesan, then arrange the mozzarella slices in a single layer. Lightly spray a piece of foil with cooking spray, cover the lasagna, and bake until hot and bubbly and the cheese on top is melted, about 45 minutes.
- Switch the oven to broil. Remove the foil and position the lasagna so that the top is about 4-inches from the broiler. Broil until the cheese is crusty around the edges and blistered in spots, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and rest about 10 minutes. Slice into 12 large squares, top each with a basil leaf.
Source: American Lamb Board