Lasagna may seem like a complicated dish, though it does have few steps but it’s very easy to make. The delicious flavors are from layers of simmered meat sauce, creamy ricotta cheese mixture, Lasagna noodles with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Once you make this and realize how easy it is I am sure it will be a staple in your meal planning.
It’s also great for feeding a crowd, and since it’s such a hearty meal you can just serve it with a side of garlic bread and salad. Since it makes a ton you can also freeze this Lasagna. Watch full detailed video below.
Do not over boil the noodles because they continue to cook in the oven. You can follow the instructions on the box.
Bolognese Sauce-this is the Italian meat sauce. A flavorful pasta meat sauce needs to have enough time to simmer. Diced tomatoes & tomato paste will thicken this sauce. Also make sure this sauce is not runny, even if it takes you a little longer to get the consistency thicker. This sauce is very versatile you can use it in other pasta recipes as well.
I used ground beef that was 93% lean. If you use meat that is not too lean adjust the oil because you don’t want the sauce to be greasy. Once you saute the beef you can also drain the liquid fat. You can also use a combination of ground beef and your preference of sausage.
Taste the sauce and if you have to adjust the seasonings.
Lasagna can easily be prepped/assembled a day ahead. The sauce also also be made few days in advance refrigerated or freeze it for few months.
- MEAT SAUCE:
- 1 lb. Ground beef (I use more lean ground beef)
- 1 med. onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2½ tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
- 1½ tsp. dry oregano
- 1 tsp. dry basil (can also use fresh)
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 bay leafs
- 2 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley or basil, chopped
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
- 2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce (no salt added)
- 2 6 oz. cans tomato paste (no salt added)
- 1 cup water
- CHEESE MIXTURE
- 1 15oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 2 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley (can also add basil)
- 9 lasagna noodles for total 3 layers (you can also use 4 noodles in each layer if you prefer more noodles, boil accordingly) follow package instructions.
- 1 tbsp. olive oil for pasta water
- ½ shredded Parmesan cheese
- 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese pack
- FOR MEAT SAUCE
- In large pot add olive oil, once hot add onions. saute till translucent about 3-4 minutes.
- Add chili flakes & garlic, saute about 1 minute. Just till garlic not raw.
- Add ground beef, crumble with wooden spoon as it sears.
- Add all tomatoes, seasonings, parsley, water, mix well. Once sauce reaches simmer make sure heat on medium/low cover and cook for 45 min-1hr. Sauce should be thickened and not too runny. Disregard the bay leafs. Remove pot from heat and set aside.
- CHEESE MIXTURE-make this as meat sauce is cooking
- In a mixing bowl add ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt/pepper, parsley. Mix well and set aside.
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Bring large pot of water to boil. Add oil & pasta noodles. Follow package instructions. Drain noodles spread on baking sheet. Use some spray oil on the noodles to prevent sticking.
- You will have a total of 3 layers. Use a 9x13 baking dish lightly greased.
- Spread thin layer of meat sauce, single layer of lasagna noodles, layer of ricotta, sprinkle with Parmesan & mozzarella. Than repeat layers. Top with some extra fresh basil or parsley.
- Cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover bake for another 10-15 minutes until bubbly and little golden brown.
- Let Lasagna set for 10-15 minutes, as it sets it will be easier to cut the slices.