Classic Homemade Lasagna

I love a good classic.

A classic pair of jeans. {i.e. Express}

A classic movie. {i.e. Pillow Talk with Rock Hudson and Doris Day  *love*}

And I most definitely love a classic lasagna recipe. {i.e. this one!}

This is hands down the best lasagna my lips have ever had the pleasure to come across. The sauce is made with San Marzano plum tomatoes, Italian sausage and just the right amount of herbs.

I only get to eat it once a year when Pat’s on one of his hunting trips {because he’s not the biggest fan of ricotta, I know right?}. So when he’s gone hunting is when I get to cook all the things us girls like… and that he doesn’t. And every time I make this recipe I think to myself… ‘dangggg I need to make this more often’… it’s that good.

The girls and I even had the leftovers the next night for dinner and they’re always good if not better then the night before. I swear something magical happens to Italian dishes in the fridge overnight.

So I know what this looks like. It looks like an obscene amount of ingredients. But as you scroll through… you’ll see it’s not really. Okay, maybe just semi-obscene.

So I start by chopping up a large yellow onion. I heated a large Dutch oven on medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil and started to sauté those.

Then I smash, peel and mince up the two cloves of garlic and added that in with the softening onions.

Right after the garlic I threw in the pound of both ground Italian sausage and ground sirloin and just kept cooking it over medium heat.

Continue to cook the meat thoroughly until there is no trace of pink left; do not drain off the fat!

Then I measure and throw in the teaspoon of kosher salt, and a tablespoon of each dried basil, parsley flakes and oregano.

You’ll need 12 ounces of tomato paste, I know it seems like a lot… but trust me.

Scrape out and add all of the tomato paste into the pot.

Next you’ll need a large can of whole San Marzano tomatoes. These are like the corvette of tomatoes and they make for an excellent, less acidic sauce. And when making lasagna, I like to pull out the big guns.

Ps. you don’t have to buy a can that say ‘with basil’, it really doesn’t matter as long as they’re whole San Marzanos.

Now let’s make a hand-crushed sauce! Simply pluck out a tomato, hold it in your hand like so.

And squeeze the life out of it. I like to do this over the pot because they contain some juice and so the pot can catch the juices that squirt out. And so now you can tell everyone that you make a hand-crushed tomato sauce. They’ll be impressed and you’ll feel A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

I pour any remaining sauce out of the can and then I add a quarter cup of water back into the can to loosen any sauce that’s still clinging to the sides. I swirl the water around and pour all of that in to the pot as well.

I give it all a good stir until the ingredients are all combined. Smells heavenly.

Reduce the heat to low, put a lid on it and let it simmer for 45 minutes, I stirred it only occasionally.

While that’s simmering away on the stove-top I grated the 16 ounces of mozzarella cheese. I reserved 1/2 cup for the ricotta and popped the rest into the fridge.

Then I moved on to making the ricotta filling. I start with 3 cups of whole milk ricotta. I like to use whole milk ricotta because it’s rich and more authentic. But if you want to use… the other kind {aka cottage cheese}… then go on right ahead. I won’t judge.

To that I cracked a couple of eggs and added a half teaspoon of black pepper.

Then I tossed in two tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley. I’m using fresh in the filling so the green specks stand out in the sea of red and white, ya dig?

And then lastly I add in the half cup of  both grated Parmesan and Mozzarella.

Stir…

…until everything is incorporated. Depending on how much time you have left on the sauce, you might want to put it in the fridge too.

Once the sauce has finished simmering, I like to set up a lasagna making station. Keeps me organized and I like need that.

First let’s talk noodles. These noodle sheets are the bomb! Yup I said it. Who wants to boil noodles only to have them tear and who wants to dirty one more pot? Not this girl. These noodles don’t need to be boiled! Just simply lay and build, layyyyy and build. These sheets not only fit perfectly but they also shave off a lot of time in lasagna making so I highly recommend using them!!

So I lightly oiled my baking dish. Scooped out about a cup of sauce and schmeared it all around. Then I layered like this; Noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, then a cup and a half of sauce.

Spread the sauce around and top with a 1/2 cup of grated Mozzarella.

Then layer again… noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, then another cup of sauce and a sprinkle a 1/2 cup of Mozzarella.

Noodles again… remaining ricotta mixture…

Then a cup of sauce again.

Then one final noodle layer… remaining sauce and then dump the remainder of the Mozz all over the top. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes rotating the pan half way through.

Boom. Lasagna.

Multiple layers of deliciousness are going on right hurrr.

Yup, I ate this monster of a piece… and the salad. Hey I’m a hunters widow… it’s how I cope.

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Classic Homemade Lasagna

Delicious. Cheesy. Classic.

Yield: 10

Prep Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes approximately

Ingredients:

1 pound Ground Sirloin

1 pound Ground Italian Sausage

1 large Yellow Onion, chopped

2 whole Garlic Cloves, smashed, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 tablespoon Dried Basil

1 tablespoon Dried Oregano

1 tablespoon Dried Parsley Flakes

1 {28 oz} can Whole San Marzano Tomatoes

12 ounces Tomato Paste

1/4 cup Water

3 cups Whole Milk Ricotta

2 whole Eggs

1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper

2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped

1/2 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

4 cups {16 oz} Grated Mozzarella Cheese, divided

16 Flat "No Boil" Lasagna Noodles

Directions:

For the Sauce:

In a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat; sauté chopped onion in a tablespoon of olive oil until they start to soften. Add in minced garlic, ground beef and the ground Italian sausage. Stir occasionally until the meat browned.

Measure and add in the teaspoon of kosher salt and a tablespoon of each basil, parsley flakes and oregano.

Add in the 12 ounces of tomato paste.

Crush each San Marzano tomato by hand into small pieces over the pot {to catch any juices}. Add any remaining sauce from the can. I like to add a quarter cup of water to the can, swirl to remove any excess sauce and pour that in as well. Stir to combine.

Reduce the heat to low, replace the lid on your Dutch oven and let the sauce simmer for 45 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering make the ricotta mixture.

In a large bowl combine the 3 cups of ricotta, two eggs, parsley, black pepper and a half cup of both Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese. Stir and keep in the fridge until ready to assemble the lasagna.

To Assemble the Lasagna:

Lightly coat a 13x9 baking pan with olive oil and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Spread 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of the baking pan.

Layer 1: Start with 4 noodles and top with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture {spread it out}. Spread out 1 to 1-1/2 cups of sauce, sprinkle with a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Mozzarella.

Layer 2: 4 Noodles and top with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, 1 cup of sauce and sprinkle a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Mozzarella.

Layer 3: 4 noodles, top with the remaining ricotta mixture, and 1 cup of sauce {no cheese}.

Layer 4: 4 remaining noodles, the remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cup or so of Mozzarella.

Bake the lasagna for 30-40 minutes {rotating the pan halfway through} or until cheese is thoroughly melted and golden. After baking let the lasagna sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Enjoy!

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74 Responses to “Classic Homemade Lasagna”

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    Anna @ Hidden Ponies — November 5, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Classic lasagna will always be one of my favourite things too, and I love it with the ricotta or cottage cheese while my husband is also not a fan – not how he grew up eating lasagna or some silly thing :) This looks absolutely fabulous!

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    Heather @ Heather's Dish — November 5, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Oh sweet heaven this looks perfect! I could just face dive into that pan…

    • simplyscratch replied: — November 6th, 2012 @ 4:54 am

      HAAAA-HA! I could too!

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    Kathryn — November 5, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I’m a complete lasagne-obsessive and always on the hunt for my perfect version. Can’t wait to give this a try!

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    Sally @ Sallys Baking Addiction — November 5, 2012 at 10:50 am

    i LOVE a good classic too Laurie! A classic pair of brown boots in the fall, a classic pumpkin pie at thanksgiving, and a classic red nail polish – all will take you far if life. Just as so, a classic homemade lasagna will steal hearts, live in families for ages, pass down through generations, and make hungry tummies happy. I love this post! Your lasagna looks perfect! I want some for breakfast lol.

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    Rina@Itheecook — November 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    So easy! I make mine the same way with the same no bake noodles. They are genius!

    • simplyscratch replied: — November 6th, 2012 @ 4:54 am

      They pretty much are Rina! :)

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    Blog is the New Black — November 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Laurie, this looks incredible. I haven’t’ made a lasagna in so long. No I want to make one to freeze for weeknight meals!

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    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — November 5, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    This lasagna looks like perfection!!!

    And um I adore Pillow Talk, def. in the top 3 of my favorite classic movies :)

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    Judith — November 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    It looks delicious and you just gave me an idea for what I am going to eat tomorrow.
    Maybe an idea that your husband will like. Make a bechamel sauce and put like a cup of some nice homemade pesto through it. It is delicious and mine does like it.

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    Jeneille — November 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    This looks amazing! I love lasagna. Must try this recipe

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    Bev @ Bev Cooks — November 5, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I cannot BELIEVE what I’m looking at. My whole life just stopped. YUM.

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    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — November 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I love the classics as well!

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    Robin — November 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    My household doesn’t like ricotta either, but we love lasagne so I use 3 cups of cottage cheese and mix it with 2 eggs in the blender.

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    Mandie @ Oh So Decadent — November 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Love the idea of using italian sausage in lasagna, I think that must make the flavor out-of-this world! I’m like your husband, in that I’m not a fan of ricotta, but I will definitely be trying this with my ricotta-less lasagna!

  14. #
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    Morgan — November 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Wow! This looks ahhhmazing. I never have though to put Italian sausage in the meat sauce. I can imagine it’s brilliant. Thanks for the recipe :)

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    Steph (Poupette in the Kitchen) — November 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Ooooh! Those look really good :) I usually make mine with a Bechamel-based cheese sauce, so I’m quite curious about the ricotta mixture! I will try this ASAP :)
    Also curious about the Italian sausage, I normally use only beef. It looks a little orange, did you use hot or sweet sausage? I guess it’d be delicious with both anyways…

    Fun trick if you’re interested: if you make your own pasta dough, you could throw in chopped fresh herbs before rolling it out. Adds an extra layer of flavor :D

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    Cassie | Bake Your Day — November 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Isn’t there just something about the classics? I couldn’t agree with you more here. This is one gorgeous lasagna, Laurie!

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    Ann — November 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Mmmm looks delicious! I started putting Italian sausage in my lasagna a couple years ago and can’t imagine ever going back to just beef again. It really adds something! Classics are the best. :-)

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    Kari@Loaves and Dishes — November 5, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Who needs a man around when you have this bowl of comfort? Okay, I still like my man around; but the lasagne would sure help when he’s not.

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    Helen — November 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Looks so good! Putting this on my list to make soon!!

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    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — November 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    You brought back the lasagna craving I was having the other day and somehow managed to forget about. Oooh I want some. And btw, I’ve never heard of that movie. Weird?

  21. #
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    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — November 5, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I love a classic lasagna and yours looks perfect! I can practically taste those delicious layers of saucy pasta goodness through your photos!

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    Julie @ Table for Two — November 6, 2012 at 12:22 am

    you can’t ever say no to a classic!! i’m now craving lasagna..definitely need to make some soon. you know, you make lasagna (one of the hardest things to photograph nicely) look AMAZING. gorgeous!! that’s very hard! i’ve never heard of pillow talk either LOL i thought you were actually talking about pillow talk :( i suck, i know.

    and yes, san marzano tomatoes are KEY!!!

    • simplyscratch replied: — November 6th, 2012 @ 4:47 am

      Julie you ain’t kiddin’! I was sweating the whole time I was slicing… and removing… and garnishing… My girls were starving and begging me to hurry!

      So thanks, I appreciate it! XO!

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    Julia {The Roasted Root} — November 6, 2012 at 12:23 am

    MMMMMMMMMMMacDreamy! Lasagna has always been one of my favorite dishes…it’s only downfall is the time you have to anxiously wait while it’s working its magic in the oven. Your recipe looks so thick, hearty and deeelish! I’m always looking for ways of changing up my favorite foods, so I’ll let you know once I try your recipe. And I completely agree – Italian food gets 10 times better overnight!

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    Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen — November 6, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Oh man. Lasagna leftovers are the BEST. I wish it was so darn time consuming but I swear it’s worth it every time. This looks great!

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    Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana — November 6, 2012 at 1:19 am

    I love the step by step instructions, thanks!! If you say it’s good, then it must be just delicious :) I’ve loved all the recipes I’ve made from your blog, especially the lemon blueberry cake!!

    • simplyscratch replied: — November 6th, 2012 @ 4:48 am

      Aw thanks Maura! Glad to hear it :)

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    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — November 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    You just can’t beat the classics! And a good, classic lasagna should be in every cook’s recipe box. Thanks for sharing yours!

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    Krysten @ Mrs. Schwartz's Kitchen — November 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I’m a hunter widow as well..two weeks in a row. Mr. Schwartz is heading to Montana from Thursday to Wednesday next week. Looks like I will be eating lasagna by myself! : )

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    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — November 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Can’t wait to make this! My hubby isn’t a huge lasagna fan, but he will have to suffer through, so I can try this!

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    Dee — November 6, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    OMG! That looks amazing! I’ve always been scared to use “no boil” lasagna but i’ve gotta try it!

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    Maria — November 7, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Looks wonderful. I always use these noodles but cover with foil for most of the baking time.. I always thought this was necessary for cooking the noodles? No?

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    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — November 7, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I absolutely love the “no boil” lasagna noodles. It’s such a godsend. And this classic lasagna dish is amazing! It’s definitely comfort food at its best!

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    Rachel Cooks — November 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Do you know how badly I’ve been craving lasagna with this pregnancy?! I’m not even kidding–I could eat it for bfast lunch and dinner. And I’ve only had it once! Oh you are killlling me. Looks so amazing!

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    Jillian Marie — November 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    What brand and where did you get your lasagna pan? It looks like the perfect size. Also, can I find those lasagna noodles at any grocery store? Can’t wait to try this. Thanks for the awesome post!

    • simplyscratch replied: — November 7th, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

      Hi Jillian! I the pan is made by Anchor and yes those noodles I picked up at the grocery store so you should be able to find them without any problem. Enjoy! :)

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    Bob — November 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Looks awesome, I love home-made lasagna, I’m drooling just looking at these pics.

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    Lauren @ Part Time House Wife — November 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I was at work the other night and was told by a co-worker {that shall remain nameless} that the lasagna I posted looked awesome….and then she said, oh wait…that wasn’t you that was Laurie, Laurie’s lasagna looks awesome! lol

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    simplyscratch — November 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    *UPDATE* Pat got home from his hunting trip and was really hungry so talked him into trying a piece. And he said it was the best lasagna he’s ever had…. ricotta and all!! See miracles DO happen! Now I can make it for all of us when he’s NOT hunting! WIN-WIN!

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    Christina — November 11, 2012 at 4:00 am

    I do not understand why someone would put cottage cheese in lasagne.
    *shudder*
    My mom used to make tofu lasagne, and I tried to get the tofu out of each bite. Silly girl. :)
    I just looked up how to spell “lasagne” and discovered that one spelling is singular (-na) and one is plural (-ne). I learn something new every day. :) Yes, I am a nerd.

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    kita — November 25, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Wont lie, every time I get to the scrape out the tomato paste step into the cooked meat, I want to quit and just dig in. This lasagna looks killer. :D

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    Maxine — November 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    I made this for my hubby and our roommate AFTER they came home from hunting. They were speech-less. Thumbs up for you!

    This was honestly delish. I’m going to try and made homemade noodles next time.

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    Karen — December 2, 2012 at 4:03 am

    This is the best lasagna I’ve ever made! I like a little sweeter sauce so I added a few shakes of worcestershire sauce and a tsp. brown sugar.

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    Jillian — January 8, 2013 at 12:28 am

    I’ve made this twice and it is great! Thank you so much for sharing!!

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    Shannon — January 21, 2013 at 1:01 am

    I’m trying to make lasagna for the first time tonight, and this really helped guide me. I am using your directions for the cheese and noodles, but using my husband’s amazing homemade spaghetti meat sauce instead of the recipe here for the meat filling. I used too big of a pan (it was the deepest pan that we had), so only got two layers of noodles. It is in the oven now and I’m looking forward to it!

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    Becki Sue — January 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Outstanding recipe. I swear, this tasted like restaurant quality lasagna. Maybe even better. My husband is gobbling up the leftovers.

    • simplyscratch replied: — January 27th, 2013 @ 12:18 am

      Hi Becki Sue! I truly love this recipe and I’m so glad you loved it as well!

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    Shelley — April 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    L-O-V-E!!!

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    Samantha — May 5, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I made this recipe last night. It was wonderful! I think this will be my “go to” lasagna recipe from now on.

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    Jaclyn Howe — September 25, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Just to let you know this website is fantastic. I haven’t tried the recipe yet but the way you have the instructions lay out, also with pictures, makes it easy to follow and not complicated at all unlike some other websites. Cant wait to try this recipe out.

    • simplyscratch replied: — September 26th, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

      Thanks Jaclyn! I can’t wait to hear about which recipe you try first :)

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    Nora :-) — December 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I’m trying to teach my son how to cook, he just turned 16. I told him there is nothing like a man who knows how to cook! It will come handy in the future when dating!
    Could you add me to your mailing list for your blog? For some reason I was having trouble with it.

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 4th, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

      No prob! You’ll just need to confirm when the email shows in your inbox :)

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    Angie Ogden — January 3, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Made this for Christmas dinner and my WHOLE family loved it, even my Mom who is really picky about things being too spicy or too ‘tomatoey’! I will definitely be making this again!

    • simplyscratch replied: — January 3rd, 2014 @ 6:06 pm

      I’m so glad Angie! It’s one of my favorite recipes!

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    Candice — January 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! This was the first time I’ve made lasagna and I searched online for awhile looking for a classic recipe with ingredients I could find here in Italy. The only thing I had to substitute was Italian sausage – I used ground pork instead and added a little bit of fennel seeds. My Italian husband loved it(!) and I gave some to our nonni and they just called and loved it as well! Where we live in Tuscany, the norm is to use a béchamel sauce and I like the light ricotta version much more. Again, grazie mille!

    • simplyscratch replied: — January 12th, 2014 @ 6:13 pm

      I’m so glad Candice! I’m going to have to look into the bechamel version… sounds decadent and delicious! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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    Karen ORourke — February 9, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    The recipe calls for 4 cups of mozzarella. I made this tonight and only counted 2 1/2 cups. Am I going crazy or is this an error.

    • simplyscratch replied: — February 10th, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

      Hi Karen! I guess they’re heaping half cups ;) I do grate up 16 ounces of Mozzarella and divide it up among the layers but I’ll make the change in the recipe to reflect that so it’s much more clear. Thanks!

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    marco — February 27, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    quite interesting blog. It’s interesting to see how much lasagna is popular in the world. For whoever could be interested I posted my Italian mom recipe of lasagna in http://www.bestlasagnarecipes.com

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    Brian Ciesemier — March 8, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    My wife and I had a lasagna cook off. Her mother recipe vs. yours. You kicked butt. Fantastic gravy taste. Perfect in my opinion. I used spicy Italian sausage. Wonderful recipe. Thank you. Going in my favorite recipe file. We will make many times again.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 11th, 2014 @ 1:29 am

      Haha that’s awesome!! So glad you liked it and won! :)

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    Branden Hubbard — March 10, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I have made this now two times. the first time instead of the water I added beef broth and now the second time I use red wine. this is by far the best pasta sauce recipe I have found.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 11th, 2014 @ 1:21 am

      That’s awesome to hear! Thanks Branden!

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    Tammy — April 13, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Did everything like this but added sugar to sauce. And cheese used ricotta and cottage and added alittle cilantro mixed w parsley. Didn’t have no boil noodles. I need to try those. Reminded me of my grants lasagna! Awesome!!!!!

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    Marisol P. — July 3, 2014 at 12:44 am

    I will be preparing this dish for my date, he’s a Garfield fan (yes, the cat) and what better way to impress a man, right? Wish me luck, ladies!!!

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    Tania R — August 18, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I have made this twice already and it is amazing! Thank you…making it again today.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — August 18th, 2014 @ 11:09 pm

      Yay! This is my one of our favorites :)

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    Vanessa — October 4, 2014 at 12:50 am

    mmmm looks delicious!

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    Vanessa — October 4, 2014 at 12:53 am

    Believe it or not I’ve never tried Lasagna in my life and for some reason I always assumed it was a fish based meal, and I don’t really like fish food. I just went through ingredient list and surprise! lol Though the recipe looks a little too hard for my skills, I may be good in cooking games like in http://papasgames.us/ but the actual cooking skills… not really lol. Anyway, I decided to give it a try :) thanks for the recipe!

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    MsMack — November 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    What brand of lasagna noodle do you use please, and how many does this recipe serve? Thanks

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — November 25th, 2014 @ 12:58 pm

      I use Barilla (details on these are in the post) and it serves around 10.

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