Grandma’s Lasagna



2 pounds ground beef
1 medium yellow onion chopped
1 carrot diced
1 handful of mushrooms, cut
1 stalk celery diced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6–8 garlic cloves minced
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or
1 tablespoon dried
1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh
1 tablespoon beef bouillon
1 tablespoon sugar more or less to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 tsp EACH dried thyme, salt, pepper
1 whole bay leaf
Some red wine



Cheese Filling
3 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or
1 tablespoon dried
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese



1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound shredded mozzarella (4 cups)
15 classic lasagna pasta sheets


In a large saucepan or large pot, add ground beef, onion, carrots, mushrooms, and celery over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for a few more minutes. Drain grease.

Add all remaining Bolognese ingredients, cover, and bring to a boil. Remove lid and reduce heat to low. Add some red wine and let simmer gently uncovered for 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until Bolognese is reduced but still saucy.

While sauce is simmering, preheat oven to 350°. Add all of the Cheese Filling ingredients to a large bowl and mix until combined.

To assemble, lightly grease a deep 9x13 pan. Spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan (layer will be thin). Place 4 noodles lengthwise and part of a 5th noodle on top to cover.

Spread with a third of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese followed by 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Repeat layers (meat, noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan) 2 more times for a total of 3 complete layers. To finish, top with remaining meat sauce, remaining mozzarella (1 cup) and remaining Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup). (Pan will be very full.) Tent lasagna with foil and secure tightly all around the edges.

Place lasagna pan on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

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