Angry Lasagna is the crowd-pleasing deliciously smokey, slightly spicy lasagna recipe you need in your life!
While it’s a bit of a process to make, you can do it in stages, and it’s even best if you make it the day before.
Make this when you have a house full.
Or make this, and freeze the leftovers.
You could make this and take some to your neighbor.
Why Is It Called ANGRY Lasagna?
What is in Angry Lasagna?
- Arrabbiata Sauce (which is made with fire-roasted tomatoes!)
- Smoked Mozzarella
- Lasagna Noodles
How do you make Angry Lasagna?
We have a few stages to this meal, and you’ll want to start them a few days ahead of time. (While that sounds incredibly laborious, it’s not! It actually goes quicker if you make it in stages!)
First Stage: Making the Sauce.
Making the sauce is a simple step of browning the ground beef and sausage together. I like to use this handy kitchen gadget to break up the meat.
Strain the fat out of the pot and add in chopped onions. Sweat these out until they are translucent.
You’ll add in 4-6 cloves of garlic. I prefer to grate my garlic using a Microplane, right over the pot. Once the garlic is fragrant, which takes about 5 seconds, add in your spices: Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Stir these around to ‘bloom’ them and get them going.
Add your tomato paste and stir it around for a minute or two so the tomato can cook a bit.
Next, you’ll add a cup or so of red wine. Choose something you like drinking, and pour yourself a glass!
Then you’ll add a combo of fire-roasted tomatoes, a jar of regular pasta sauce (I prefer Rao’s Sauce!), and let this simmer for a while with a bay leaf. This sauce should be fairly thick, and not sloppy like bolognese sauce.
The sauce is better if you do this a couple of days in advance. The lasagna tastes better if you bake it the day before, so having a day for the sauce’s flavor to develop is helpful.
Side Note: you can make the sauce and the lasagna all in one day, and then reheat the next to serve. It is absolutely delicious that way.
Second Stage: Gathering all the Parts.
This next stage is simple: you’ll gather your noodles and cheeses. I prefer to hand grate cheese, so this is why this is an extra stage. Smoked Mozzarella can be found in the *nice* section of the grocery store with the fresh mozzarella. You’ll want to grate this on a box grater or in a food processor. You can mix the ricotta up with the eggs and parmesan and if you’re not making it then, just add it to a container and place it in the fridge.
Third Stage: Assembling the Lasagna.
You’ll want to choose a very deep dish to bake this in. I prefer the foil pans since it’s easy to clean up! I keep these in bulk in my pantry!
The process is simple, no need to heat anything up since you’re baking it all together.
- Spray the *junk* out of the pan with cooking spray. Place on a half sheet tray: for added structure and in case it spills over…
- Add in a scoop of sauce on the bottom, giving the noodles something to hold onto, and a layer between them and the foil pan. Remember, foil pans are thin, so if you put just noodles on the bottom they would burn.
- Now, add in a layer of noodles. These can be the no-cook lasagna noodles, or you can precook them.
- Add another layer of sauce.
- Smear a layer of ricotta.
- Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella cheese.
- Do this whole thing a couple of more times. You need at least three layers of noodles.
- On the last layer of noodles, pour the rest of the sauce on top.
- Cover in mozzarella cheese.
- Spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray, and cover the lasagna.
Finally, you’ll bake this whole shebang in the oven until it’s piping hot in the center.
Here are a few tips for baking Angry Lasagna:
- My preferred method is to put the lasagna in a cold oven. (This goes for when you’re reheating the next day, too!) Then, I’ll set the oven’s temperature to 375˚ – when you add it to a cold oven, it helps the lasagna heat more evenly, leaving less room for hot/cold spots.
- Bake with the foil on until the last few minutes. Then, crank your broiler on and stand to watch the cheese melt.
- Once your angry lasagna is brown and bubbly, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. <<< Why you ask?? You know how you cut into a casserole and the whole thing runs out?? Just like you need to let the juices of steak and chicken rest and ‘go back in,’ you need to do that same with casseroles. If the lasagna is heated properly, you’ll scoop a serving and it will still be steaming hot, and not run all over the place. Yay!
What should you serve with Angry Lasagna?
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 large yellow onion, small dice
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasonings
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1+ cup red wine (such as Pinot noir)
- 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 jar marinara sauce (I prefer Prego brand. But, if you want to make your own, by all means.)
- 1 large tub ricotta cheese
- 2 extra large eggs
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound grated mozzarella (I prefer the Kraft brand, with the cream cheese added)
- 8 ounces grated (fresh) smoked mozzarella (the expensive cheese. from the *nice* section of the store.)
- (mix these two cheese together once grated)
- Cooked lasagna noodles
- Brown meats in a large Dutch oven. (I purchase lean meat, so there is usually no extra grease to be drained. If so, drain/scoop out before adding onions!)
- Add diced onions in with meat, and sauté until translucent.
- Grate garlic over onion/meat mixture with a micro plane.
- Add dry spices in. Stir to cook for a few seconds.
- Add tomato paste and allow to cook for a couple minutes.
- Pour in wine and stir.
- Add canned tomatoes and sauce and let simmer for 20 minutes. ((This is a GREAT bolognese sauce served over pasta. Better if you make a day ahead.))
- Mix ricotta, eggs, and cheese and set aside.
- Cook noodles according to package. (Most of the time, I don't follow the package instructions.... I place the noodles in a 9x13, and pour hot water from my kettle over top. Cover while you are mixing the ricotta, etc and when you go to layer the noodles will be slightly cooked. They finish cooking in the lasagna.)
- In a LARGE, DEEP pan assemble your lasagna. (I own a legit lasagna pan.... If you don't, just use the foil pans sold in the grocery aisles! A usual 9x13 is not big enough.)
- Layer One: Sauce + Noodles + Ricotta + Sauce + Cheese
- Layer Two: Noodles + Sauce + Ricotta + Cheese
- Layer Three: Noodles + Sauce + Cheese
- Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, covered. During the last ten minutes, remove foil and brown cheese. (You could always use the broiler! Just watch and be careful!)
- Once browned and bubbly, let the lasagna sit a good ten minutes. Otherwise, when you cut into it, the sauce and everything will just run all over.
If you are making the day before (which is the BEST way to make lasagna!), bake as follows:
Place lasagna on a sheet pan, and into a COLD oven. Crank the oven to 375 degrees and allow the cold lasagna to heat all they way through. About an hour. The last 10 minutes, remove the foil and brown the top. Let this rest 10-15 minutes before slicing into -- otherwise it will run all over the place!
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Cheers to full tables, full bellies, and full hearts!