Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lasagna with Homemade Meat Sauce

One of the most difficult things about creating this blog has been actually measuring and calculating the correct measurements for all of my personal recipes.  As we all know, when you bake, the ingredients have to be exact.  But cooking is an entirely different story.  

I have been making this lasagna for a very long time and have always just thrown in the ingredients as I go, never minding to the amounts.  Everyone would ask me for the recipe but I could never give it to them as it changed from time to time and was always in my head, not on paper. 

This blog serves as my online cooking diary, documenting all of my favorite recipes and sharing them with you.  This lasagna is very hearty and makes about 3 trays.  It is a classic recipe full of flavor but more importantly, full of cheese!  It is a great dish to share with family, friends, neighbors or someone who could use a little TLC.   

My husband just ate a leftover piece, came into the room and told me it was was the "best lasagna I've ever made". With that being said, I think I will stick with this recipe.   

Brown the meat and then drain the fat

Add the onion and garlic

Whole, peeled tomatoes packed in sauce really deepen the flavor

This is what it looks like after the tomato paste has been added

Squeeze the tomatoes with your hands, crushing them through your fingers.  Do this slowly and keep your hand in the pot or you will have tomato juice everywhere...

I guess if I had a secret ingredient, it would be fennel seed.  Most lasagna recipes do not call for this much but I just love the flavor it lends to the dish.  I crush mine with my mortar and pestle but you can also use your knife. 

It seems like a lot of spices but it works... I promise.  

Now let it cook for at least 2 hours, covered.  I made mine the night before and after it was done cooking, threw it in the fridge so the flavors can marry overnight.  

Before you assemble, make sure you prepare all of your ingredients.  Make the ricotta mixture and slice the mozzarella cheese.  

Slice it thin.  The combination of the fresh mozzarella and shredded works very well together.  

Time to put it all together... spread the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Make sure you remove any bay leaves when you spread the layers of sauce.  They will be very easy to pick out.   

Add the noodles and spread with ricotta. 

Top with fresh mozzarella....
And fill in the gap with the shredded mozzarella.  

Top the cheese with more meat sauce, grate some parmesan, and then repeat, starting with more noodles. 

This will be the top of the lasagna. It is a little different than the filling.  

Top with sauce...

Then dot some ricotta...

Finally top with more fresh mozzarella. I forgot to take a picture of the final product but after this, I added some shredded mozzarella and fresh grated parmesan.  


makes three 9x13 pans that can be wrapped in saran wrap, then foil and placed in the freezer for up to one month

Meat Sauce

2 pounds ground beef
2 pounds ground sausage
1 1/2 onion, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
18 oz tomato paste
2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes, 32 oz each
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon fennel seed, crushed
1 tablespoon thyme
1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
6 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups beef broth

In a large stock pot,  brown sausage and ground beef.  Drain fat.  Return meat to pan and add chopped onion and garlic, cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add tomato paste and stir until meat is thoroughly coated. 

Add whole, peeled tomatoes; crushing tomatoes in hands before adding them to the pot.  Make sure you add the sauce from the can as well.  Once tomatoes and completely crushed, add salt, basil, oregano, fennel, thyme, garlic, onion powder, bay leaves and red pepper flakes.  Stir to combine. 

Add beef broth and turn heat to low.  Cover and cook for at least 2 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes.  This sauce is better if it sits in the refrigerator overnight but can be used after cooked for 2 hours.  

Ricotta Filling

48 oz ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated parmigiano reggiano
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
3 eggs

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl until completely combined.  


32 ounces of fresh mozzarella, slice into thin slices
1 block of parmigiano reggiano, for grating
2 large bags of shredded mozzarella or Italian mixed cheeses
3 boxes of no-boil lasagna noodles

Cover the bottom of each 9x13 pan with meat sauce. Then layer the ingredients in the following order:


fresh mozzarella slices
shredded mozzarella
meat sauce
grated parmigiano reggiano
fresh mozzarella slices
shredded mozzarella
meat sauce
grated parmigiano reggiano
meat sauce
dots of ricotta
fresh mozzarella slices
shredded mozzarella
grated parmigiano reggiano

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  If desired, brown top with broiler or kitchen torch.  Remove from oven and let sit for at least 30 minutes.  Slice and serve. 

It's even better the next day!


  1. Perfectly easy to follow instructions and plenty of compliments received. Thanks for the great recipe Heath!

  2. Thanks for the feedback Cheryl! Glad you liked it :)


I would LOVE to hear from you! If you don't have one of the listed accounts in the "Comment as" drop down box, simply just use the Name/URL choice and you don't have to put in a URL!

Pin It button on image hover
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...