classic lasagna recipe

Classic Lasagna Recipe

A timeless and hearty dish, classic lasagna features layers of rich meat sauce, creamy béchamel, and melted cheese, all nestled between tender pasta sheets.

Ingredients

For the Meat Sauce:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (optional, for extra flavor)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

For the Cheese Mixture:

  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Béchamel Sauce (optional but recommended):

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Assembly:

  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Meat Sauce:
  • In a large pot over medium heat, cook the ground beef, Italian sausage (if using), and chopped onion until the meat is browned. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Add the sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Let it simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chopped fresh parsley towards the end of cooking.
  1. Prepare the Cheese Mixture:
  • In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, parsley, and salt. Mix until well combined.
  1. Prepare the Béchamel Sauce (if using):
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, until smooth and bubbly.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Remove from heat.
  1. Cook the Lasagna Noodles:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Lay the noodles flat on a clean kitchen towel to prevent sticking.
  1. Assemble the Lasagna:
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Spread a thin layer of meat sauce at the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Place a layer of lasagna noodles over the sauce.
  • Spread a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles.
  • Spoon some of the meat sauce over the ricotta.
  • Pour a layer of béchamel sauce (if using) over the meat sauce.
  • Sprinkle with a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese and a bit of grated Parmesan.
  • Repeat the layers (noodles, ricotta, meat sauce, béchamel, mozzarella, Parmesan) until all ingredients are used, ending with a final layer of mozzarella and Parmesan on top.
  1. Bake the Lasagna:
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil (to prevent sticking, you can spray the foil with cooking spray so it doesn’t stick to the cheese).
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly.
  • Let the lasagna cool for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Enjoy your delicious classic lasagna!

Leave a Comment