There’s pasta and there’s pasta, and then there’s lasagna. Do you like pasta? Uh, yeah. Do you love lasgana? It’s scary how much you love it, huh? How can you say no to a meaty, cheesy, sauce-filled delicious baked pasta dish like lasagna? While there are many variations on this classic, my favorite is definitely the simple, original classic. Here is my version of that staple.
The star in this dish is not just one particular item, but the scrumptious combination of meat, tomato sauce, four cheeses, and homemade semolina pasta. Scared about making your own pasta? Don’t worry. It can be substituted with the store bought stuff, but I definitely suggest trying it with the homemade pasta! Not only is it delicious, but super fun to make.
The key to any delicious pasta dish is fresh ingredients, and homemade, always from scratch, sauce. The tomato sauce I use for my lasagna is super simple; it does all the work. And like all my recipes, I definitely suggest fresh herbs and good-quality cheeses.
If you’re a little unsure about the time involved in making everything for scratch, I can assure you it will only take about an hour and half of prep time before baking. If you go with the store bought pasta, which works great in this dish, then you can cut that time down to about 45 minutes. The key to a calm hour or so of prep is time management. Luckily for you I’ve made this lasagna over a dozen times, so if you follow the steps below you will have no problem at all. This is also a dish you can bring the family or friends in to help!
Because the pasta, and sauce are stand alone recipes that can be used for numerous other dishes, I have them housed on their own respective pages. I will include and reference each as “tomato sauce” and “semolina pasta” in this master recipe, each time with a link to their page.
I have the ingredients split between the various parts (meat mixture, ricotta mixture, etc), so you’ll notice some ingredients listed a few times. I feel this way is easiest, especially if you are the type to prep and separate all your ingredients before starting a single step.
Homemade Semolina Pasta (2 lb)
Homemade Tomato Pasta Sauce (2 quarts)
3 lb ground chuck beef (80% lean, 20% fat)
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped (2 teaspoons dry)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
30 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup roman cheese, grated
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, sliced
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1/4 cup roman, grated
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil chiffonade
Step One: Preheat the oven to 375F.
Step Two: Mix/Knead the Semolina Dough. Let it rest while you prepare the rest of the lasagna parts.
Step Three: Prepare the tomato sauce. Let it simmer while you prepare the rest of the lasagna parts.
Step Four: Brown the ground beef in a heated pan over medium-high heat. Once the pink is gone, add the oregano, parsley, salt, pepper and 1 cup of the tomato sauce from the simmering pot. Stir well.
Step Five: Reduce the heat on the ground beef mixture to low. Cover and simmer while you prepare the rest of the lasagna parts.
Step Six: Mix the ricotta, parmesan, romano, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
Step Seven: Cut the semolina pasta into long sheets, as long as the dish you are baking the pasta in and half as wide as the dish. You’ll need eight of these sheets Cook in salted, boiling water for 2 minutes. Dry the pasta on towels and set aside. You may want to cook the semolina pasta in batches to avoid crowding the pasta.
If you are using store-bought pasta, cook the pasta to aldente according to the box instructions.
Step One: In a large baking dish, about 15 inches long and 10 inches wide, pour just enough sauce in the bottom to coat the dish.
Step Two: Add a layer of pasta.
Step Three: Add 1/3 the ricotta mixture.
Step Four: Add 1/3 the meat mixture.
Step Five: Pour 1/4th the remaining sauce over the meat mixture.
Step Six: Add 1/4 the mozzarella cheese.
Repeat Assembly steps Two through Six two more times for a total of three layers.
Step Seven: Add a final layer of pasta on top.
Step Eight: Pour the remaining sauce on top.
Step Nine: Add the remaining mozzarella cheese to the top.
Step Ten: Add the parmesan, roman, and pepper reserved for the topping.
Step Eleven: Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Step Twelve: Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chiffonade basil on top.
Serve right away, or you may let it cool for a moment. All this dish needs as a side, if anything, is a nice big loaf of bread.
This lasagna is also a great refrigerate-and-enjoy-for-the-week dish. I enjoyed this for dinner last night, and am munching on it for lunch now.