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how to make the best classic lasagna
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Granny's Classic Homemade Lasagna Recipe

Granny's Classic Homemade Lasagna recipe has been perfected over the years. This is the absolute best lasagna recipe you will ever find!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 799kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds spicy Italian pork sausage in bulk, not in casings
  • 4 tbsp roasted garlic
  • 1 cup fresh basil packed
  • 16 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz pecorino grated
  • 2 oz parmesan grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 16 oz whole milk mozzarella divided, grated
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 48 oz pasta sauce
  • 12 no boil lasagna noodles about 8 ounces

Instructions

To assemble the lasagna:

  • In a large pan over medium high heat, cook the Italian sausage until browned and crumbly, stirring occasionally. This should take about 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and allow it to cool slightly.
  • Use a food processor to mix the roasted garlic, basil, ricotta, pecorino, parmesan, egg, and half of the mozzarella, . Add the cooked sausage and pulse a few times to break the sausage into crumbles and mix it into the cheese mixture.
  • To assemble the lasagna, add about a cup of the pasta sauce to the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Add 3 of the no boil lasagna noodles.
  • Add about 1/3 of the sausage mixture to the top of the noodles.
  • Add about 1/3 of the fresh spinach leaves and top them with about a cup of the sauce.
  • Continue to layer: 
    1. pasta, sausage mixture, spinach, sauce.
    2. pasta, remaining sausage mixture, remaining spinach, sauce.
    3. top layer will be remaining pasta, remaining sauce, and remaining mozzarella.
  • Cover with aluminum foil. For best results, refrigerate overnight. If needed, you may bake right away.

To bake the lasagna:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. If previously refrigerated, be sure to allow lasagna to come to room temperature before cooking, otherwise your cook time will be extended. Cook, covered, until heated through, 40-60 minutes. You may remove the foil for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking time to help melt the cheese and release some of the moisture. Allow lasagna to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving to absorb any remaining liquid.

Notes

Pro Tips to get Perfect Results:

  • Use no boil lasagna noodles. They're not only easier and quicker, but I actually prefer the texture as they never get over cooked. 
  • I prefer using Trader Joe's no boil lasagna because the pieces fit perfectly in my baking dish, especially once they expand when cooking, but you can use any kind you like. You can even make your own homemade pasta sheets.
  • I love spicy Italian sausage in my lasagna but for some reason, I don't like getting a huge chunk in a single bite. I found out by accident that there is a better way. You see, when I was making the filling for my meat and cheese ravioli, I pulsed the cooked sausage in the food processor into tiny crumbles and then mixed it with the ricotta. I had leftover filling and turned it into a lasagna. Voila! It was perfect! 
  • Whole milk cheese. For the love of all things, be sure to buy whole milk ricotta and whole milk mozzarella. It will yield the creamiest and richest lasagna. Whoever came up with low fat cheese should be punished.
  • The secret ingredients in my ricotta filling are roasted garlic, lots of fresh basil, parmesan and pecorino cheese. If you don't always have roasted garlic on hand, you should. I use it in sooooo many recipes. I used to make lasagna without these four secret ingredients and let me tell you - they are incredibly worth it.
  • And finally, you will get the best tasting lasagna if you make it the day before and let it rest at least 20 minutes after you take it out of the oven. This allows the no-bake pasta can soak in the sauce, but you can still bake it on the day you prepare it if needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 799kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 173mg | Sodium: 2059mg | Potassium: 1101mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3125IU | Vitamin C: 18.5mg | Calcium: 633mg | Iron: 4.5mg