Tuesday, October 5, 2010

American Lasagna

*Pictured using no boil noodles and part fresh tomatoes.  We love lasagna--when I was little, my brother used to call me lasagna-head.  Every time I've made this for someone else, I've been asked for the recipe.  Jeff loves lasagna, too--unfortunately we have different ideas of what lasagna is supposed to taste like.  To put it another way, my mother makes the best spaghetti in existence--loaded with chunks of tomatoes, onions; rich and hearty.  She makes it for big family gatherings and I can't help but have multiple servings.  Jeff, on the other hand, politely pushes the tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms to the side.  He's the only person I know who doesn't rave over it.  It might be the only thing they clash about.  As a result, one of my mother's very best recipes isn't part of my recipe book.  This lasagna is her spaghetti--real, hearty, delicious.  Jeff eats it too, but I have to admit, last time I made this he asked, "Can't you use spaghetti sauce instead of tomatoes?"  You decide......

Prep Time: 30 Min
Cook Time: 40 Min
Ready In: 1 Hour 15 Min

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (or use part Italian sausage)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
12 dry lasagna noodles
2 eggs, beaten
1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


1.  In a skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef, onion and garlic; drain fat. Mix in basil, oregano, brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until al dente; drain. Lay noodles flat on towels, and blot dry.

3.  In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, parsley and 1 teaspoon salt.

4.  Layer 1/3 of the lasagna noodles in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover noodles with 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat. Top with remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese over the top.

5.  Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


  1. We LOVE lasagna at our house, too! In fact I usually double the recipe so that I can have one on hand in the freezer. James isn't a fan of mom's spaghetti either, that's kind of funny. I love your blog!

  2. Maybe 10 years ago I probably would have sided with Jeff, growing up our lasagna was sauce and cheese... but now I LOVE veggies in (although I still don't think they make a good Jello) so thanks for the recipe!!!