Background and History
Lasagna, a delicious Italian dish, has a rich and storied history. This layered pasta masterpiece is believed to date back to ancient Greece. The name “lasagna” itself comes from the Greek word “lasanon,” which means a flat sheet of pasta. Over centuries, it evolved into the beloved Italian classic we know today, with layers of pasta, savory sauce, cheese, and various fillings. The world’s best lasagna is a labor of love, and it’s worth every minute of preparation.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 9 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
- 1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey for a leaner option)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
- 2 (6.5-ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups fresh spinach (optional, for added nutrition)
Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
Cook Noodles: Cook the lasagna noodles according to package instructions, then drain and set aside.
Prepare Meat Sauce: In a large skillet, cook the ground beef (or turkey) over medium-high heat until browned. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and cook until they’re translucent. Drain any excess fat.
Add Tomato Sauce: Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, sugar, salt, basil, fennel seeds (if using), and black pepper. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Prepare Cheese Mixture: In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, and eggs. Mix well.
Layer the Lasagna: In a 9×13-inch baking dish, spread a thin layer of the meat sauce. Place three cooked lasagna noodles on top. Add a layer of the cheese mixture, and if desired, a layer of fresh spinach. Repeat these layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of meat sauce on top.
Bake: Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the lasagna is bubbly and the cheese is golden brown.
Rest and Serve: Let the lasagna rest for about 15 minutes before slicing. This helps the layers set. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
- Calories: 605
- Carbohydrates: 47g
- Protein: 38g
- Fat: 31g
- Saturated Fat: 16g
- Cholesterol: 144mg
- Fiber: 4g
- Sugar: 10g
- Sodium: 1344mg
- You can customize your lasagna with additional ingredients like mushrooms, bell peppers, or zucchini.
- Lasagna is even better when prepared a day in advance, allowing the flavors to meld.
- Leftover lasagna can be refrigerated for several days or frozen for longer storage.
- This lasagna recipe contains wheat (from noodles), dairy (cheese and ricotta), and eggs. If you have allergies to any of these ingredients, please use suitable substitutes or avoid this recipe.