A traditional recipe using ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses with tomato sauce. Adding meat is optional.Based on a recipe from The New York Times Cookbook, Craig Claiborne, 1961, Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. p 330.
Servings: 8 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion approximately 2 small-medium onions
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 28 ounce can unsalted crushed tomatoes
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon basil
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (optional) browned and sliced 1/4" thick. Chicken sausage works well.
- 1 pound Lasagne noodles
- 1 pound part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 pound part skim milk mozzarella cheese grated
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In 6-quart stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onion and garlic until light brown, approximately 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, about one hour. Add oregano and basil and continue cooking about fifteen minutes longer. Remove bay leaf. There should be 3 cups of sauce.
- Use a 6 - 8 quart stock pot to cook lasagna noodles, following package directions, and until al dente.
- Preheat oven to 325° F.
- Using a baking dish about 9 x 13 inches and two inches deep, cover bottom sparingly with tomato sauce and line with one-third (6) of the noodles. Dot with spoonfuls of ricotta, using half. Sprinkle one third of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Spread with one third of the sauce (1 cup) and add, if using, all of the sausage. Repeat with another layer of lasagna, sauce and cheeses. Then on top of final layer of noodles spread remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. If freezing or refrigerating to bake later, stop here, wrap well and store.
- Bake uncovered about 45 minutes, until center reaches 160° F. Allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.
This recipe can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated. This would require baking longer at 325 degrees F for 60 minutes. Removing from refrigerator in advance helps to reduce baking time. Freeze lasagne before baking by wrapping tightly. To cook lasagne from freezer, do not thaw. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place frozen lasagne on baking sheet, cover loosely with foil. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, turn and continue baking an additional 1 1/2 hours. Let cool about 20 minutes before serving. Ovens vary, so check. Internal temperature in the center when done should be 160 degrees F. It takes just as much time to make two lasagnes at once.