The Best E.V.E.R. Lasagna

In my opinion, every cook should have “The Best E.V.E.R.” recipes up their sleeve for the following: macaroni and cheese, lasagna, spaghetti sauce, meatballs, and a knockout dessert and appetizer. Tonight, I am giving you one of these “Best E.V.E.R.”s because it’s worthy of the title. If you don’t like sour cream, first let me say, I am so sorry. See if you can fix that. Second, you won’t like this recipe. I really don’t  like Ricotta cheese in lasagna. It’s a texture thing for me I think. Either way, I had this lasagna at a church retreat and I fell in love. Like the kind of love where noise disappears and you are concentrating on every bite and trying to figure out why you like it so much. So, I asked for the recipe. This is a family recipe given to me by Vicki Pauli. She has taken over this recipe and made it her own. Let me tell you, I have made this for dinner, for family members visiting from out of town, for dinner guests, for a family across the street who lost a loved one… EVERYONE says the same thing… It was delicious! We LOVED it.  Print it and try it!

16 0z. box of lasagna noodles
(before I post anymore of the recipe, if you are still cooking your noodles you are SO behind in times (like dial up verses high speed internet)… they make them oven ready now. Now you don’t have an excuse to not throw together a lasagna!) 🙂

2- 28 oz jars of spaghetti sauce (use the Ragu Parmesan/Romano)
1 lb of ground beef
1 lb of ground Italian sausage (I tend to leave this out because I don’t like Italian sausage)
Mozzarella cheese (slices and shredded) approximately 2 packages of slices and 2 cups of shredded
Approximately 2 cups of sour cream
Spices to taste

Brown ground beef and Italian sausage in a large sasuce pan or dutch oven. Drain off fat. Add garlic (I use minced), salt, pepper, and oregano to taste. You can add onions if you like (I use onion powder). Add spaghetti sauce and stir. Turn heat to low and simmer if you are making noodles- if have oven ready noodles just make sure sauce is hot and bubbly.

Assembling Lasagna:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9×13 baking pan or lasagna pan spread a thin layer of meat sauce. *I spray my dish with Pam first. It makes the clean up easier.
Add 3-4 noodles side by side (depending on pan size) overlapping slightly if needed. You may also put a noodle across the bottom of the pan if the pan is longer. With a spoon or spatula spread sour cream up the noodles. It doesn’t have to be even it will spread out in the heat. Spread meat sauce over the noodles and sour cream. Put cheese slices or shredded cheese (whichever you choose to use ) on to of the meat sauce- I slice the cheese slices in half and lay about 3 down each noodle. So 12 slices total on the bottom layers.)
Continue layering noodles, sour cream, meat sauce, and cheese to desired thickness. I do three layers (depends on your pan).
On your last layer, after pouring the rest of the meat sauce on top, use the shredded cheese. Cover lightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15-20 minutes more until golden brown and bubbly. Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes before cutting.
*cook time is the same whether you cook your noodles or use the oven ready noodles*

*The lasagna in the picture still had another 15 minutes to go. I had just taken off the foil and snapped a quick picture.*

I always make Jimmy’s Favorite Garlic bread with my lasagna! I don’t follow this recipe exact- I skip the sun dried tomatoes, I use minced garlic, and I use Italian bread (personal preference).