world’s best lasagna

August 3, 2011

prep time: 30 minutes     cook time: 2.5 hours     ready in: 3 hours 15 minuteslasagna


1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 c minced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 oz.) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 c water
2 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 T chopped fresh parsley
9 lasagna noodles
16 oz. ricotta or cottage cheese
1 egg
3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, grated
3/4 c grated parmesan cheese


  1. cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, italian seasoning, sprinkle of pepper, and 2 T parsley. simmer covered for about 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. soak raw hard noodles in large bowl of very hot tap water for 20-30 minutes. drain noodles and rinse with cold water. in a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 tsp salt. preheat over to 375 degrees F.
  3. to assemble, spread 1.5 c of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. arrange 3 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. spread with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture. top with mozzarella cheese. spoon 1.5 c meat sauce over mozzarella and sprinkle with 1/4 c parmesan cheese. repeat layeres, and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  4. cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. remove foil and bake an additional 25 minutes. cool for 15 minutes before serving.

i heart italian food and lasagna is no exception. i had actually wanted to make this before we left for china/malaysia, but didn’t have the time to make it. and now i’m glad i waited =]`

it was a true labor of love. cooking is such hard work ! we had it for dinner yesterday and it was pretty tasty, if not a bit on the salty side. i’ll probably cut back on the salt next time and maybe even add more sugar. (changes already made to recipe) i’d forgotten about how i should automatically cut back on salt/sugar when dealing with any type of recipe. also it was sort of a watery mess, so i’ll probably cut out the water next time.

i served it with steamed green beans (another one of my favorites) which rounded out the meal perfectly.

but sad to say, i miss the food from china and malaysia… feelings of delicious food withdrawal are creeping up already.

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