Who doesn’t enjoy a heaping pile of delicious lasagna noodles layered between meaty and cheesy goodness?
Lasagna is a classic dish that has been around for a long time and can be found at most, if not all, Italian restaurants, some pizza parlors and of course, in the freezer section of your local grocery store.
With all of those options available, there is still nothing better than a homemade lasagna, especially when you get to reheat the leftovers the next day. The flavors just meld together overnight.
Lasagna originated in Italy during the Middle Ages and dates back to 1282, but the first written recipe didn’t appear until the 14th century.
There are many different versions of the dish which include a mix of layered noodles, béchamel, mozzarella, parmigiano-reggiano, ground beef, pork and in Naples sausage is incorporated.
It’s really all a matter of preference when it comes to making your perfect lasagna.
As a huge fan of ricotta cheese, I always opt to include it, but if you’re looking to make a lighter, more classic version of the dish, it can be subbed out for béchamel which is a combination of butter, flour, milk and nutmeg.
To add more depth to the meat sauce, it is important to include a mixture of ground beef and pork and it’s a must to make the sauce from scratch!
If you’d like to make this recipe for yourself, follow the steps below.
- In a pan on medium-high heat add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once hot, add the ground beef and ground pork. Cook for about 15 minutes or until brown and fully cooked.
- Using a vegetable masher, mash the meat to prevent the sauce from being too chunky. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil in a large pot. Once hot, add the onions and sauté for about 5-7 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and mix thoroughly to incorporate. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and stir. (Tip: Fill the can up halfway with water, stir to get any excess and pour into the sauce.)
- Add the meat mixture to the sauce. Add the oregano, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and taste. Add more seasoning if needed. Let simmer on low for an hour.
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil with a generous amount of salt. Once ready, add the lasagna noodles and cook until just al dente (they will finish cooking in the oven). Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese with one egg and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Grate the parmigian-reggiano and mozzarella, and mix together in a medium bowl.
- Now it’s time to layer! Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. In a greased casserole dish, add a heaping spoon full of the meat sauce to prevent the noodles from sticking. Add an even layer of noodles to coat the pan. Add a layer of the ricotta mixture. Add the cheese, and repeat until the dish is nearly full.
- For the final layer, add a layer of meat sauce and top with cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for another 30-35 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly.
- Let cool for 25-30 minutes, serve and enjoy!
- 3/4 lb ground beef
- 3/4 lb ground pork
- 1 lb lasagna noodles
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 yellow onion
- 1-2 tbsp minced garlic
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper, to taste