Classic lasagna recipe

January 21, 2018

Classic lasagna recipe
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This classic lasagna recipe is always a favorite. Sweet and juicy tomato sauce combined with a succulent meat sauce and savory cheeses in an easy pasta dish. The kids always love them and the adults always ask for them. They are always a favorite in an Italian restaurant, as this classic lasagna recipe is always a crowd pleaser.

There are hundreds of lasagna recipes. From this classic lasagna recipe to a vegetarian one and then some. I guess the lasagna for the Americans are as common as the phyllo pies for the Greeks. Lots of different fillings and always in demand!

The first time I made this classic lasagna recipe, I have to admit that the kitchen looked like it was bombarded! Lots of dirty pots and pans and tomato sauce all over the place. I was hoping that in the end it would  be worth it and it definitely was. The kids always love it and it is one of those foods that are always in rotation in our biweekly food plan. You could definitely make two at a time. Just freeze one of them so you can have a warm and delicious meal ready within an hour on a busy weeknight.

There are also great baked in small ramekins, served as individual servings for a dinner party or even a Super Bowl party. I have not met a guy yet that would turn this classic lasagna recipe down.


I prefer to make them with the lasagna noodles that don’t need to be precooked. They are  also easier to handle and you save about half an hour of prepping time. I like to add plenty of mushrooms, garlic and sweet bell peppers as they travel me to my mother’s cooking back home. As a result, I sneak in extra nutrients for the kids and we get to have our vegetable servings as well.

The Greek version of the lasagna, would be the pastitsio , but this is definitely different that that. This classic lasagna recipe is awesome in a different way. It is rather cheesier as it contains 5 different cheeses but lighter in flavor as they don’t have the béchamel sauce that the pastitsio has.

In addition,this classic lasagna recipe does require a little bit of  time to make it , but I guarantee you that you will want to make it again and again.

Classic Lasagna recipe
Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 35 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 10 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, American, Mediterranean
Servings: 8 people
Ingredients
For the tomato sauce
  • 36 oz or 800 grams plain pureed tomatoes (1 big can)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/2 of whole sweet bell pepper cut in thin strips
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt
  • pepper
For the meat sauce
  • 2.2 lbs or 1 kg fresh ground meat low fat preferably
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 of whole sweet bell pepper sliced
  • 8 oz or 250 gram mushrooms sliced
  • 8 oz or 250 gram whole peeled tomatoes (with their juices) finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp allspice ground
  • salt
  • pepper
For the cheeses
  • 16 oz or 450 gram ricotta cheese
  • 16 oz or 450 gram mozzarella cheese shredded (not the one packed in water)
  • 8 oz οr 250 gram provolone cheese shredded
  • 5 oz or 150 gram fontina cheese shredded
  • 5 oz or 150 gram parmesan cheese shredded
  • 5 oz or 150 gram fresh mozzarella cheese crumbled (not mandatory)
2 boxes of lasagna that do not need to be precooked
Instructions
For the tomato sauce
  1.  First of all place the olive oil in a medium sauce pan and set the temperature to low. throw in the garlic and let int infuse the olive oil as it warms u for 2-3 minutes.

  2.  raise the temperature to medium and get the bell pepper in and let it take temperature for a minute. Add the tomato puree and stir well.

  3. Add the sugar and the salt and pepper. Let it cook for 5 minutes.

  4.  In addition turn off the heat and add the basil. Set aside.

For the meat sauce.
  1.  First of all place the olive oil in a wide but deep skillet and set the temperature to high. Once it gets hot place the ground meat in and brown it well.

  2. Once the meat is browned add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and stir well. Let the onion soften a bit till it becomes translucent.

  3.  In addition add the mushrooms and stir well. Let them cook for a couple of minutes

  4. The red wine is next and stir well and let the alcohol evaporate it should take just a couple of minutes. Lower the heat to medium.

  5.  Furthermore,add the tomatoes, the salt and pepper, the bay leaf and the allspice. Stir well and add 1 cup of water. Let it cook till the sauce thickens up while you stir occasionally. It should take about 7 minutes.

  6. At last once the meat sauce cooks, set aside.

For the cheeses
  1. Mix all the cheeses together very well. The mixture doesn't have to be even.

For the assembly
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit .

  2. In a pyrex, stoneware or any other oven pan, put one cap of the tomato sauce and spread it all over the bottom.

  3. Add a layer of pasta overlaying them by half an inch or so. Add 1/3 of the meat sauce and spread around evenly, add 1/4 of the cheese mixture.

  4. Then add another a layer of pasta overlaying them a bit again  and place on top 1/3 of the tomato sauce. Add 1/4 of the cheese mixture.

  5. Furthermore,add a layer of pasta and add half of the remaining meat sauce and half of the remaining tomato sauce.


  6. Then add another a layer of pasta and add the remaining meat sauce, and half of the remaining cheese.

  7. At last add the last layer of pasta, overlaying them a bit again, the remaining tomato sauce and at last the last of the cheese mixture spread evenly.


  8. At this point you may wrap well and place it in the freezer for a future meal if you are making it for that reason.

  9. Bake the lasagna for 50 minutes. When it is ready take it out and let it sit for 20 minutes before you cut and serve.

Recipe Notes
  • You may cover the baking pan with aluminum foil before you start assembling the lasagna in it. That will make for a very easy cleanup
  • Furthermore, you may switch the meat or the tomato sauce to your favorite one, just make sure that there is enough sauce/ liquid in it for the pasta to cook.
  •  Finally,you may omit the wine in the meat sauce if you don't like it.
  • Enjoy!

classic lasagna

 

Finally, this lasagna recipe is always great with a big salad full of healthy greens. I can assure you that it will be very hard for you to resist cutting a piece as soon as it comes out of the oven.                                                                                                            

In conclusion, I can’t wait to see your comments and your pictures after you make this lasagna recipe. You may also submit your lasagna recipes here if you want them featured in our site.

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   xoxo

Tanya

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