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Classic Lasagna

Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 2 hrs
Stand time 25 mins
Yield

Makes 8 to 10 servings

A classic, beefy lasagna recipe perfectly matches these traditional, zesty Italian ingredients and creamy homemade ricotta sauce. Tall layers of cheese, meat, and pasta will seriously satisfy your casserole cravings. Plus any leftovers for lunch the following day are always welcome. Tip: make this lasagna bake for a crowd by doubling the recipe and making ahead of time. Prep steps one through four, cover, and freeze. Thaw and bake (covered) at 350° for 55 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until bubbly. 

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can basil, garlic, and oregano diced tomatoes
  • 2 (6-oz.) cans tomato paste
  • 1 (8-oz.) can basil, garlic, and oregano tomato sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 8 cups boiling water
  • 1 (16-oz.) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 (6-oz.) packages part-skim mozzarella cheese slices
  • Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

How to Make It

  1. Sauté onion in 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add beef, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until beef crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain beef mixture, and return to skillet. Stir in diced tomatoes, next 4 ingredients, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf; set meat sauce aside.

  2. Place lasagna noodles in a 13- x- 9-inch pan. Carefully pour 8 cups boiling water and remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil over noodles. Let stand 15 minutes.

  3. Stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper until blended.

  4. Spoon half of the meat sauce mixture in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Shake excess water from noodles, and arrange 6 noodles over meat sauce; top with half of ricotta mixture and 1 package mozzarella cheese slices. Repeat layers once.

  5. Bake, covered, at 350° for 55 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until bubbly. Let lasagna stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Cook's Notes

The sauce is time-consuming but worth the extra effort. Make it on a weekend, and freeze it to enjoy later with lasagna or your favorite pasta.