Recipe Detail

A Very Good Lasagna

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Rating : 5

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Number of Servings:


  1. Sauce
  2. 2 tablespoons - olive oil
  3. 1 - large yellow onion, finely chopped
  4. 4 cloves - garlic, finely chopped
  5. 6 - anchovy fillets, optional
  6. 1 cans - 28-ounce whole peeled tomatoes
  7. 1 cans - 28-ounce crushed tomatoes
  8. Assembly
  9. 1 1/2 pounds - fresh mozzarella, grated or shredded
  10. 16 ounces - (2 cups) whole-milk ricotta
  11. 1 cups - coarsely grated Parmesan, plus more
  12. 1/3 cups - heavy cream
  13. - kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  14. 1 - garlic clove, finely grated
  15. 1 pounds - dried lasagna noodles (not the no-boil variety)
  16. - olive oil, for drizzling


Make the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and anchovies and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is totally softened and translucent (without letting it brown), about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, if using it, and continue to cook and stir, until the tomato paste has turned a deeper brick red color, about 2 minutes.

Using your hands, crush the whole tomatoes into smaller, bite-sized pieces and add them and the crushed tomatoes to the pot, stirring to scrape up any bits from the bottom. Fill one of the tomato cans halfway with water, swish it around to get all the tomato bits in the can and add it to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato sauce has thickened and flavors have come together, approximately 35-45 minutes. You want it to be as thick as tomato sauce from a jar — any looser and the lasagna will be too wet to cut into nice pieces.

Preheat the oven to 425°F and set a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the lasagna noodles in the boiling water until just softened (before al dente), about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and separate any noodles that are trying to stick together, drizzling them with a bit of olive oil to prevent them from sticking further.

Assemble the lasagna:
Set aside 1 cup mozzarella. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining mozzarella, the ricotta, Parmesan, cream, and grated garlic clove; season with salt and pepper.

Spoon a bit of sauce on the bottom of a 3-quart baking dish and top with a layer of noodles, avoiding any heavy overlap (some overlap is fine and inevitable). Top with about 1¼ cups of sauce and one-fourth of the cheese mixture over it. Top with another layer of noodles and repeat three more times, ending with the last of the noodles (depending on size of the noodle and the shape of the baking dish, you may have a few extra noodles) and the last of the sauce. Top with the reserved 1 cup mozzarella and more Parmesan, if you like.

Cover loosely with aluminum foil and place the baking dish on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet (to prevent any overflow from burning on the bottom of your oven). Bake until the pasta is completely tender and cooked through and the sauce is bubbling around the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and continue to bake until the lasagna is golden brown on top with nice, crispy edges and corners, about another 35-45 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

DO AHEAD: The sauce can be made up to 1 week ahead, covered, and refrigerated. The lasagna can be baked up to 3 days ahead, wrapped tightly, and refrigerated (or up to 1 month, tightly wrapped and frozen—thaw before reheating). To reheat, cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 25 to 45 minutes.




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