Make the sauce: Coat a large saucepot with the olive oil and add the pancetta. Put the pot over medium-high heat and cook the pancetta 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, season generously with salt and stir to coat with the olive oil. Cook 6 to 7 minutes, stirring; the onions should become very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Pass the tomatoes through a food mill; be sure to scrape the pulp off the bottom of the food mill. Add the tomatoes to the pot; fill one of the empty tomato cans with water and add to the pot (2 to 3 cups). Season generously with salt and taste; tomatoes take a lot of salt. Simmer 2 to 3 hours over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and tasting frequently. Season in baby steps, tasting every step of the way.
Make the lasagna: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, cook the lasagna noodles until pliable but not limp, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove with tongs and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool; remove and lay flat on a sheet tray.
Coat a large saute pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil and put over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until brown and crumbly. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Ditch the fat from the pan and add 1 tablespoon olive oil along with 2 garlic cloves and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Put the pan over medium-high heat. When the garlic is golden, remove it and discard. Add the mushrooms and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and reserve. Repeat this process with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 garlic cloves and pinch of red pepper flakes, and the zucchini.
In a bowl, mix the ricotta, half of the parmigiano, the eggs, basil and 1 teaspoon salt.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the bottom of a deep 9-by-13-inch baking dish, evenly spread a couple ladlefuls of sauce. Cover with a layer of the lasagna noodles. Spread one-third of the ricotta mixture over the pasta. Top with a layer of pasta in the opposite direction of the first layer (this will give the lasagna a little more stability). Spread a light layer of sauce on the pasta and sprinkle with one-third of the sausage; top with one-third each of the mushrooms and zucchini. Top with a layer of mozzarella and some of the remaining parmigiano. Repeat these layers until all the ingredients have been used. Be sure to finish with a layer of pasta covered with sauce, mozzarella and parmigiano. Cover with aluminum foil.
Place the lasagna on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until hot and bubbly, about 1 hour, 15 minutes, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Let cool 20 minutes before slicing.
Tools You May Need
Photograph by Johnny Miller
Courtesy of Food Network Magazine
Tools You May Need
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