This was always the dish I would beg my mom to make growing up-it was generally a tradition for my mom to make her famous lasagna on or near my birthday, at Christmas, or whenever she became sick of my incessant whining. ;) After I graduated from college and it slowly dawned on me that I couldn't afford to eat out every day and I would need to learn how to cook, my mom's lasagna was the first recipe I wanted to learn. I was surprised at how easy it was, although I will say it's time-consuming. I've modified the recipe a little over the years, sometimes adding different cheeses, or sweet Italian sausage per Will's request. But, like many of my recipes, I stick to the "less is more" concept. You don't need a ton of vegetables, ground beef, spices, etc. The more simple it is, the better it will taste.
1 1/2 lbs lasagna noodles *
about 10 cups Sunday gravy
1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
1 cup grated pecorino romano
1 1/2 lbs fresh ricotta
3 8-oz packages of buffalo mozzarella, cubed
1/2 lb sharp provolone, cubed
1 lb sweet Italian sausage (optional)
1. Boil a large pot of water, salt generously. Cook the lasagna noodles until al dente, about 7-8 minutes
2. Add about 2 cups of Sundy gravy to a large lasagna pan. You want the gravy to cover the bottom, but don't add too much or the lasagna will be too "soupy." Place 5-6 lasagna noodles over the bottom of the pan. Add more gravy until the noodles are lightly covered.
3. Mix all the cheeses together in a large bowl. Take a handful of the cheese mixture and cover as much area as possible over the noodles. Add chopped sausage if desired, then cover cheese with 5-6 more noodles. Add another 1-2 cups of gravy over the noodles, then repeat with the cheese/meat mixture until there's none left.
4. Add 2-3 cups of gravy over the noodles on top, then sprinkle with parmigiano reggiano. Cover with tinfoil.
5. Preheat oven to 325, and bake for one hour. Let sit for 10 minutes, then serve.