Grandma Jo's Crepe Lasagna

December 16, 2019
4 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 4 hours
  • Makes one 9x13-inch pan
What You'll Need
  • Meat Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 2-3 pounds beef ribs
  • 2 pounds sweet Italian sausage
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine or dry vermouth (or beef stock, which is what my grandma uses)
  • 2 32-ounce jars of your favorite tomato sauce (I love Rao’s, but bonus points for homemade!)
  • Crepes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • Ricotta Filling
  • 2 pounds fresh ricotta
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella—1/2 cup for the filling, 1 cup for the top
  • Assembly
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Fresh parsley or basil for garnish
  1. Make the Meat Sauce: Add the oil to a large pot set over medium heat until it gets hot enough to sear some meat.
  2. Now add the beef ribs, cooking for about 5 minutes per side until browned. Remove the ribs to a plate or bowl.
  3. Add the sausages, cooking for a few minutes per side. Remove to that same plate or bowl as the ribs.
  4. Now add the garlic and stir it around to brown a bit. Add the white wine or vermouth to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the garlic and meaty bits at the bottom. Then add in the tomato sauce and stir until it comes up to a bubble. Add all the meat back in making sure it’s submerged in the sauce. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about an hour or two, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the meat is falling off the beef ribs.
  5. When all the other components are done and you’re ready to assemble the lasagna, pull the beef ribs and sausages out of the sauce and allow to cool enough to handle. Slice the sausages, then debone the ribs and dice up the meat. Put the meat back in the meat bowl.
  6. Make the Crepes: Whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and crack in the eggs and add the water. Whisk it all together until smooth (this should be a runnier batter).
  7. Grease an 8-inch nonstick pan with a little olive oil and put over low heat. Once the pan is hot, add just shy of a ¼ cup of batter and quickly swirl around to cover the pan, getting it as big and thin as possible. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until the edges start to curl up. Use a silicone spatula to flip, then cook for another minute or so. Remove to a parchment paper–lined sheet pan.
  8. Continue this process until you’re done with the batter, adding sheets of parchment between layers of crepes so they don’t stick. Set aside until ready to use.
  9. Make the Ricotta Filling: In a large bowl, add the ricotta, eggs, parsley, salt, pepper, parmesan, and ½ cup of the shredded mozzarella. Stir to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
  10. Assemble the Lasagna: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  11. Drizzle the olive oil in 9 x 13-inch baking dish and use a brush or your hands to coat the bottom and sides.
  12. With a ladle or a large spoon, add about 3/4 cup of the tomato sauce to the bottom of the pan and swirl/spread to coat. From here you’ll start the layering process. Add enough crepes to make an even layer in the pan—the circles don’t really fit nicely in the rectangular pan, so feel free to cut crepes to fit.
  13. Add about 1 cup of the ricotta mixture on top of the crepes and spread into an even layer.
  14. Sprinkle about 1 cup of the mixed meat on top of the ricotta mixture—you don’t need a dense layer, but enough to get some meat in every bite.
  15. Add another ladle or two of sauce over the meat, and repeat the layering: crepes, ricotta mixture, meat mixture, sauce, ending with a final top layer of crepes spread with a last layer of sauce (this should be 3 solid layers). Add any extra meat back to the sauce to serve on the side.
  16. Cover with tin foil and bake for about 40 minutes. Then take it out of the oven, remove the tin foil, top with the remaining cup of shredded mozzarella and bake for another 15 minutes or so, until the cheese is bubbly and a little browned.
  17. To serve, cut into big squares with plenty of sauce and cheese on the side. Garnish with some more parsley or basil as you see fit.

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