Lasagna is a delicious Italian dish that consists of layers of flat pasta sheets, rich tomato-based sauce, creamy béchamel sauce, cheese, and often various fillings like meat or vegetables. It’s a hearty and comforting dish that is popular around the world. Below is a classic meat lasagna recipe along with instructions on how to cook it.
Cooking Time: Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes
Classic Meat Lasagna Recipe:
- 9 lasagna noodles (oven-ready or pre-cooked)
- 1 pound (450g) ground beef or Italian sausage
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
In a large skillet or saucepan, cook the ground beef or Italian sausage over medium heat until browned. Drain any excess fat.
Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet with the cooked meat, and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.
Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper. Simmer the sauce for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to meld together.
In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, egg, and chopped parsley until well combined.
To assemble the lasagna, spread a thin layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Place three lasagna noodles on top, followed by half of the ricotta cheese mixture, spreading it evenly over the noodles. Sprinkle about 1 cup of mozzarella cheese over the ricotta layer and then spoon about a third of the remaining meat sauce on top.
Repeat the layering process: noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese, and meat sauce. Finish with a final layer of noodles, the remaining meat sauce, and a generous sprinkling of mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, ensuring it’s not touching the cheese on top, to prevent sticking.
Bake the lasagna in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
Once the lasagna is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving. This allows the layers to be set and makes it easier to cut into neat portions.
Enjoy your delicious homemade lasagna! Feel free to customize the recipe by adding vegetables or using different types of cheese to suit your taste preferences.