Christmas Eve Lasagna

Christmas Eve Red Lasagna

Christmas Eve lasagna shown with green beans and tossed salad. I often alternate between a “red meat lasagna” and “white seafood lasagna” for Christmas Eve meals. The red lasagna, although heavy, is a great treat after Christmas Eve mass.

Every Christmas Eve I prepare lasagna, chicken French, and Cajun eggnog. Sure, I have a display of Christmas cutout cookies and red velvet cupcakes, but it isn’t Christmas Eve until the lasagna is out of the oven.This recipe yields a 2-3 layer 9″x13″ pan serving 8-10.
2 boxes lasagna sheets (fresh or dried) No Need to Boil Pasta 
For ricotta filling layer:
32 oz tub of whole milk ricotta
3 large eggs
1 cup Parmesan Romano shredded cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1.5 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
lasagna 2
For meat sauce layer:
1 lb ground chuck
2 lbs Italian sausage or meatloaf mix (ground pork, veal, and beef)
1 pack sliced pepperoni, slice pepperoni in half or coarse crumble in food processor
2 yellow onions peeled and diced
2 red bell peppers diced
2 jars of your favorite red gravy/tomato sauce
 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1/2 tablespoon salt
black or white pepper to taste
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Cheese layer:
2 lbs sliced mozzarella cheese
In a mixing bowl, mix ricotta, three eggs, garlic powder, salt, dried parsley flakes, and shredded Parmesan Romano cheese until well blended. Set aside.
Next, spray large pot with cooking spray. Cook diced bell pepper and onion on medium low until translucent.
In a separate pan cook sliced pepperoni on medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Return to pot with diced bell pepper and onion. Add Italian sausage and ground chuck. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly. Cook until meat is crumbled and cooked. Please note that I usually allow meat to cool and then transfer meat to food processor. I crumble meat so that it is uniform in size. If you are going to crumble meat in food processor then DO NOT cook with onions and peppers. Instead, cook it separately and then add crumbled meat to cooked peppers and onions. 
Return meat to pan and add red sauce, cooked pepperoni, and seasoning.
Finally, you’re ready to assemble!
Spray pan with cooking spray.
Take 1-2 cups of meat sauce and spread evenly on bottom of pan.
Top lasagna sauce with uncooked lasagna noodles, lengthwise in two rows if possible.
Spread half of ricotta mixture on hard lasagna noodles.
Repeat layers: another 1-2 cups of meat sauce, uncooked noodles, remaining ricotta mixture. Finish with any remaining sauce.
Your final layer should be sauce. Cover sauce with slices of mozzarella cheese.
Cover pan with foil, which has been sprayed with cooking spray to prevent cheese from sticking to foil.
Bake on 375F on center rack for 50-60 minutes, depending on oven.
Make sure you put a cookie sheet under the pan to avoid oven spills.
Allow lasagna to sit at least 25 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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