I didn’t grow up in an Italian family, so I had to miss out on a lot of great dishes when I was growing up, instead focusing on more of a Tex-Mex cuisine (which certainly isn’t the worst thing in the world). In fact, pretty much all I knew about lasagna was what I learned from reading Garfield comics in the newspaper. It wasn’t until I married into an Italian family that I discovered just what I was missing out on.

Now, I’ve been convinced like many others around the world that Italian food isn’t just some of the best tasting, but also extremely fun to make. Perhaps it’s because of the Italian culture that puts so much emphasis on having the entire family around the table where every meal feels like a feast, but there’s little doubt that foods like lasagna would taste great even if you were by yourself.

Getting an Italian mother to give up a recipe for something like lasagna isn’t easy, but thankfully you won’t have to pry too much, as I have just the thing you need to make your own. The thing is, when you make lasagna, you tend to make a lot since you’re cooking for an entire extended family in most circumstances. Just make sure to keep that in mind when you see just how many ingredients it takes to make the perfect lasagna.

Lasagna is one of those incredibly hearty foods that’s withstood the test of time, dating back for centuries, and even started showing up in recipe books in the 1300s. There’s never really been just one set recipe to follow, so people have been tinkering with the ingredients and preparation of lasagna ever since then, trying to find what works for them. What I’ve found works for me is using a lot of beef and sausage, as well as the classic ricotta cheese.

If you want to make your own lasagna at home, it’s not a meal that seems like it would be easy for a beginner to make due to the ingredient list and preparation time of more than three hours, but it’s pretty straightforward once you get all of your ingredients in line. There’s also quite a bit of cleaning up to do afterward, but if you’re the one that’s making the lasagna, hopefully someone will be grateful enough to volunteer to do the dishes! At least, that’s how I’ve seen it happen in Italian families.

So if you find yourself getting ready to host a large amount of people, this lasagna recipe can make sure that a dozen people are getting a fair share that will keep them satisfied. They’ll also be asking for seconds, though that might not be possible if there’s enough people in your home! Even if you’re hosting a smaller group of people and end up with leftovers, lasagna can still be easily reheated in your oven.

To do that, simply set your oven to 425 degrees, adding ¼ cup of water (or even marinara sauce) on top of your lasagna, wrapping it in aluminum foil and baking for 25 minutes. Before you get to the reheating, though, you’ll need to make the first go-round! To do that, simply grab all of these ingredients and follow each step to create the best lasagna you’ll ever have!

Preparation Time: 200 Minutes

Serves: 12 People

Nutrition (Per Serving):

Calories: 450
Fat: 20 g
Protein: 30 g
Carbohydrates: 37 g
Sodium: 1800 mg
Cholesterol: 80 mg

What You’ll Need:

  • ¾ Pounds Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Pound Italian Sausage
  • 28 Ounces Canned Crushed Tomatoes
  • 12 Ounces Canned Tomato Paste
  • ½ Cup Minced Onion
  • 2 Cloves Crushed Garlic
  • 13 Ounces Canned Tomato Sauce
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons Dried Basil Leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ½ Cup Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 12 Lasagna Noodles
  • 16 Ounces Ricotta Cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons Chopped Parsley
  • 1 Egg
  • 12 Ounces Sliced Mozzarella
  • ¾ Cup Grated Parmesan

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (190 celsius), and your stovetop to medium heat.
  2. On the stovetop, use a Dutch oven to prepare your Italian sausage, onions, garlic and ground beef. Once the beef is browned, add in the tomato paste and sauce, water and crushed tomatoes.
  3. After stirring, season the mixture with Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, basil, sugar, salt, pepper and parsley. Allow the mixture to simmer, covering the Dutch oven and letting it sit for 90 minutes, coming back to stir every now and then.
  4. In a separate large pot, add water and a hint of salt, bringing it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add in the lasagna noodles, letting it cook for eight to 10 minutes. Then, drain your noodles and rinse them off with cold water.
  5. Once that’s finished, take a separate bowl where you mix in parsley, salt and ricotta cheese together.
  6. Using your 9×13 baking dish, take 1 ½ cups of your meat sauce, spreading it across the bottom of the dish. Place half of your noodles on top of the mixture, and add a spread of the ricotta cheese, salt and parsley mix on top of the noodles. Then take one-third of your mozzarella cheese, placing it on top of the noodles.
  7. Repeat this process making multiple layers, topping the lasagna off with what’s left of the Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Then take aluminum foil that’s layered with cooking spray, covering the lasagna without touching it.
  8. Place the lasagna in the oven for 25 minutes at 375 degrees before taking it out of the oven, removing the foil. Put the lasagna back in the oven to bake for an additional 25 minutes. When that’s complete, remove the lasagna once again and let it cool for 15 minutes. You’ll have enough for 12 people, so there should be plenty of lasagna leftover for second helpings!