Do you know someone who doesn’t like classic delicious lasagna? I probably don’t. At least I think so since I don’t automatically ask everyone if lasagna is their favorite food. Maybe I should. Would that be weird? Probably yes, but at least I would know if we can still be friends.
Now seriously. A recipe for classic lasagna is the perfect idea for a Saturday or Sunday lunch. Don’t you know what to cook over the weekend and want to surprise the whole family?
Lasagna, lasagna and lasagna again!
I love recipes that feed a lot of hungry people. Many times when a family comes to visit, the best classic lasagna in the middle of the table can’t be missed.
This recipe is also a great holiday meal. And not just for the holidays. It is suitable for every occasion. Every time I cook lasagna I have it for lunch, dinner, and a snack. And probably as a dessert too. It’s one of those dishes that really can be eaten all the time.
How to make the best lasagna
The basis is, of course, ragu or meat sauce. There are many ways to make a delicious lasagna ragu. To get started, choose good meat. You have more options. Probably the most common choice is ground beef. But you can also go to a butcher’s shop and get a piece of beef brisket, for example.
Brisket is often used in ragu and is very popular because it “melts” beautifully when cooked for a longer time. Eventually, it gives the sauce a perfect deep flavor. After cooking, just tear it nicely with a fork.
Regarding the minced meat again. If you can get Italian sausages, pair them with your lovely beef. You can also use these with beef brisket.
But if you only want to stay with minced meat, add minced pork to the beef, which will give the sauce excellent juiciness. I like to use 750g ground beef and 250g ground pork.
Some also like to use Italian pancetta, which you can cut into smaller cubes and add after sautéeing onions.
And what about carrots and celery? As you like. You certainly won’t ruin the ragu with celery. I personally cook with carrots only when I make bolognese sauce. It really can’t be missed there. But I really like to use celery for lasagna ragu.
Béchamel or ricotta mixture?
Authentic Italian lasagna requires béchamel sauce. However, this does not automatically mean that you have to use it in your recipe. I like to swap it. One day I’ll make béchamel for lasagna, and another time I’ll make a mixture of ricotta, egg, and parsley.
To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Once the mixture thickens, start adding milk gradually while stirring. Finally, season with salt and pepper, add nutmeg and parmesan cheese.
To make lasagna with ricotta mixture, simply mix the ricotta cheese, one egg, and finely chopped parsley in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and add a little parmesan cheese.
The second choice seems to me to be quite “lighter” and healthier. In my opinion, Ricotta is suitable for warm summer weather. Béchamel, on the other hand, fits me better in the winter months. I don’t know, maybe I’m weird. Try both versions and let me know what you like better.
How to assemble lasagna?
First, spread a layer of meat sauce on the bottom. Then add the lasagna sheets so that you cover the entire surface (use a quality one). Then spread your meat sauce again and béchamel sauce (or ricotta) on top of it.
Place the pieces of mozzarella and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Repeat this process until you have filled the entire casserole. Lasagna – meat sauce – béchamel – mozzarella + parmesan.
After about 40 minutes, be sure to remove the foil to keep the top nice and crunchy. When the lasagna is ready, let it rest for at least 15 minutes to get a better texture. This is definitely the hardest step of the whole recipe!Print
The Best Classic Homemade Lasagna
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
Lasagna and meat sauce
- 1,4 lb (650g) ground beef
- 0,7 lb (350g) Italian sausage
- 10–14 lasagna sheets
- 2 celery sticks (finely chopped)
- 2 carrots (finely chopped, optional)
- 1 large onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups of red wine
- 3 or 4 cans of tomato sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp oregano (dried)
- 1 tsp thyme (dried)
- Bunch of fresh basil
- 2 cups (180g) parmesan cheese
- 2 balls mozzarella cheese
- 7 tbsp (100g) butter
- 1/2 cup (75g) flour
- 3 cups (700ml) milk
- 1 cup (100g) parmesan cheese
- 1/4 fresh nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven and sautée the diced onion and celery. Add sausage and ground beef, cook and stir until meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Break the meat apart as it cooks. Add garlic, salt, black pepper, and Italian herb seasoning and pour the red wine in. Let evaporate.
- Add tomato sauce into the meat mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is extremely tender, for about 2 hours. When the sauce becomes too thick, add a little bit of water. Skim excess fat occasionally from the surface and season with more salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350° F and prepare your creamy béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add flour and stir well. Add milk (a little at a time) and stir, then add 3/4 cup (80g) of parmesan cheese. In with salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg. Keep whisking on low heat for about 8 minutes until thick.
- Get your casserole and start with a little bit of finished meat sauce underneath. Place lasagne sheets over the sauce. Cover with meat sauce again and béchamel sauce on top of that. Sprinkle with mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese. Repeat this step until full (you should spend all the ragu and bechamel sauce).
- Cover with aluminum foil and place into the oven for 40-50 minutes. Cook for the last 10 minutes uncovered to get a nice crisp.
- Let it rest at least for 20 minutes. The texture will get better. Enjoy!
You can change the bechamel sauce for a ricotta mixture. It’s a nice replacement.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
- Category: Lunch
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 8 servings , Amount per serving:
- Calories: 708
- Sugar: 10.6g
- Sodium: 1594mg
- Fat: 38.3g
- Saturated Fat: 18.4g
- Carbohydrates: 50g
- Fiber: 2.8g
- Protein: 33.3g
- Cholesterol: 50g
Keywords: classic lasagna, homemade lasagna
Wow it looks so tasty!😋
Thank you! It was indeed.
Looks absolutely amazing! I like the version with bechamel sauce more. I find it creamier that way. And pancetta all the way 🙂
Thanks! Yup, bechamel sauce feels more authentic 🙂
What was the last time you made lasagna?
It’s been already a couple of months.. but i’m gonna make one this weekend!
I wanna try this but I suck at cooking! 🥲
I’ll make this once for you 😛
My family liked it a lot! Better than from a restaurant
Wow that’s nice to hear! Thank you.
I tried it and me and my son simply lovec the lasagna. Thank you 😊
I love to hear that!