5 slices soft bread
2 pounds hamburger
1 small onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon ground oregano
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Romano cheese
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion
1 stalk celery
1 red bell pepper
5 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sliced black olives
2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
14 ounces can diced tomatoes
1 cup sliced, sun dried tomatoes
3/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon ground, toasted fennel seeds
(Toast them over medium heat in a small skillet for about 8 minutes).
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons brandy, optional
12 lasagna noodles
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 pound sliced Provolone cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Meatballs: Process the bread slices in a food processor until you have medium
fine crumbs. Place in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix
together. Form into small meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter. Tomato Sauce:
Dice onion, celery and red bell pepper. Peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or large sauce pan over
medium heat. Add onion, celery and red pepper and saute for 5 minutes. Add
garlic and saute 2 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar. Stir and let reduce for 2 to 3
minutes. Add olives and sun dried tomatoes. Add two 28 ounce cans crushed
tomatoes, one 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, sugar and 3/4 cup red wine. Stir in
basil, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Add meatballs to sauce, cover and simmer
over low heat for 1/2 hour. Remove cover and continue to simmer slowly for about
1 1/2 hours more, until sauce is reduced to a near paste. Should be a
consistency between tomato sauce and tomato paste. This allows the flavors of
the sauce to intensify. The consistency can be one of your personal preference,
but the more it reduces, the more the flavor intensifies. Add the lemon juice
and the brandy and allow to cook for about 3 more minutes. Cook the lasagna
noodles according to package directions. Drain immediately in cold water.
Arrange pieces flat in single layer on clean, dry towels until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 375F. Ladle half the sauce into a 17.5 x 12 inch lasagna pan.
Cover with half the noodles, half the ricotta cheese and half the Provolone.
Repeat. Cover with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Broil for 5 minutes or
until cheese is slightly browned.