Tuesday, March 1, 2011

homemade lasagna [recipe]

we had Kaley, Adam & Kullen over for dinner on Saturday evening. I made my first ever homemade lasagna and it was SO delicious, I knew I had to share it with you all. if you've been around here for a while, you know that I am no chef, so this was quite the accomplishment for little ol me.

as always, the recipe was found at allrecipes.com. I'll note the changes I made to the recipe in bold below. sadly, I didn't take ONE single picture of the dish, so you'll have to use your imagination to picture how wonderfully mouthwatering it was. 

Kaley was kind enough to make salads and garlic bread, which perfected the meal. Sean made these mint brownies, which were dangerously delectable... I'll be writing a post all about those this week, since I do have a picture of them on my camera!

prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
ready to eat: 3 hours, 15 minutes


  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (I don't like Italian sausage, so I substituted with a pound & a half of ground beef)
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I used dried parsley flakes = 4 teaspoons)
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced (about 18 slices)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. 
  2. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. 
  3. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. 
  4. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. (see notes below)
  6. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  8. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. 
  9. Repeat layers (noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, meat sauce & Parmesan). 
  10. Top with remaining mozzarella (I just added another whole layer of mozzarella slices) and Parmesan cheese. 
  11. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  12. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

the directions were originally combined into about 5 steps, but I like it broken out more by actions than components of the recipe, so I got a little ENTER key happy. 
Sean accidentally bought the "no boil" noodles, so we eliminated step #5 that required cooking and draining the noodles. they actually turned out to be a little chewy, so I will probably use regular noodles next time. 

I made extra meat sauce and added an extra layer, which turned out to be too much meat for my tastes. next time, I'll probably add more ricotta to level it out, but that's just a personal preference.

this recipe fed five adults and two children on Saturday night, and we had two servings of leftovers for lunch on Monday!


just so this post isn't completely photo-less, here are some that I took with my cell phone over the weekend:

this is the hard work that Bear contributed to the super duper cleaning of the house this weekend.

I got this shirt for $10 at Woot! and I love it. the shapes that make up Poe's face are ravens.

Happy Tuesday!


  1. Every month my friends and I have an "Ethnic" Pot-Luck and this Saturday I am hosting Italian night! I was looking for a new rendition of lasagna. Thanks so much! Looks delish!

  2. Sounds very yummy! Really like the shirt!!


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