Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large saucepan, add the ground beef and brown over medium heat. Season with salt, pepper, and Essence. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl fold together the ricotta cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 1/2 cup grated mozzarella, the Essence, salt, parsley, basil, and black pepper.
Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 3-quart (13 by 9 by 2-inch) casserole. Lay 3 lasagna noodles lengthwise down the dish. The noodles should not touch one another. Spoon 3/4 cup of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle 1 cup of the mozzarella evenly over the ricotta. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, for a total of 4 layers of noodles. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella over the top layer of tomato sauce, and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan.
Cover the casserole tightly with aluminum foil, and bake, covered, for 1 hour.
Remove the casserole from the oven, and remove the aluminum foil. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and squeeze to break into small pieces. Set aside.
In a heavy 5-quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt, basil, oregano and black pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, sugar and reserved crushed tomatoes, stir well, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat, and use as needed.
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.
Recipe from Emeril Lagasse
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