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Submitted by: JustRightMenus


It takes a while to make - about a 2 hour process, start to finish - but it's well worth the effort.

I make this in two 9" square pans, one pan to be baked immediately & the other to be frozen. I line the "to be frozen" pan with tinfoil before filling the pan. Use two really long pieces of tinfoil, perpendicular to one another, than can be foled over the top & sealed. Then, I put that pan in the freezer. Once the lasagne freezes, I remove it from the glass pan, drop it in a gallon freezer bag, and save it for future use. When you want to have lasagne again, just take your tinfoil-wrapped lasagne-ice-cube and put it in its original pan in the refrigerator to defrost. Follow the recipe's baking instructions, and dinner is ready!

Servings: 8

Categories: Italian, ground beef, pasta, sausage

From the kitchen of:

Betty Crocker, 9th edition (Wiley Publishing, 2000), p. 398


1 pound ground meat - bulk Italian sausage, ground beef, ground turkey, whatever you'd like

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped*

3 TB chopped fresh parsley - 2 TB for sauce, 1 TB for cheese

1 TB chopped fresh basil OR

1 tsp. dried basil leaves

1 tsp sugar

1 can (14.5 oz) whole tomatoes, undrained

1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce**

8 uncooked lasagna noodles

15 oz Ricotta or cottage cheese - about 2 cups - feel free to use more esp. if you're using 2 pans***

1/2 c. Parmesan cheese - 1/4 for cheese mix, 1/4 for sprinkling on top

1 TB chopped, fresh oregano leaves OR

1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese****


* Okay, the original recipe says 1 clove garlic. But I don't think you can taste it at all with that little, so I use much more. Feel free to experiment yourself.

** The sauce I keep stocked in my pantry is in 8 oz cans, so I just use 2 of that size. With this recipe, you can really play around with the amount of ingredients, as evidenced by all these footnotes.

*** I buy the 32 oz container of ricotta and use about 2/3 to 3/4 of it. I find that making the lasagne in two 9" pans requires more cheese. That's right, yet again, I'm not following the recipe exactly.

**** Since I split it in 2 pans, I actually end up using 3-4 cups of mozzarella. We like cheese at my house, can you tell?


Cook meat, onion, and garlic in a very large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is no longer pink. Drain.* (I use a 12-inch cast iron pan.)

Stir in 2 TB of the parsley, the basil, sugar, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Break up the tomatoes with a fork or snip with kitchen scissors.

Heat mixture to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat; simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until thickened.

While the meat/tomato mixture is simmering, start a large pot of water for the noodles. Cook according to package directions. When they're done, lay them out on the counter, on paper towels or cheesecloth, to drain. Don't use a regular kitchen towel, or you'll have fuzzy lasagna. Trust me.

Heat oven to 350°.

Mix the Ricotta cheese, half the Parmesan cheese, the oregano, and the remaining 1 TB of the parsley.

(A) Sauce Layer. If using two 9" square pans, spread 1/4 of the meat/tomato mixture into each pan. If using one 13x9 pan, spread half the meat/tomato mixture into the pan.

(B) Noodle Layer. If using two pans, you'll need to cut the lasagne noodles. Cut 1/3 of a noodle off of 2 noodles. Laying side by side, you'll have 2/3 of a noodle next to 2/3 of a noodle next to two 1/3 noodle pieces. If using one pan, just lay down four whole noodles in the pan. No math required. :)

(C) Ricotta Layer. If using two pans, spread 1/4 of the Ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles in each pan. If using one pan, spread 1/2 the Ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles in the dish.

(D) Mozzarella Layer. If using 2 pans, sprinkle 1/4 of the mozzarella over each pan. If using one pan, sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella over the pan.

Repeat steps (A) through (D).

Now sprinkle the remaining 1/2 of your Parmesan cheese over the pan(s).

Cover the pan with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes. If you're making 2 pans, you only should bake the one you're not freezing.

After 30 minutes, uncover the pan and bake about 15 minutes longer. I like to put it under the broiler for a few minutes also, if the cheese has not yet browned after 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let it stand for 15 minutes before cutting it. Do not skip this step unless you want runny lasagna.


The lasagna in a 9" square pan should be cut into 4 servings. One 13 x 9 pan should be cut into 8 servings.


Ta-da! You've made lasagna.


* Do not ever pour grease down the drain. Drain the meat in a colander, using a bowl to catch the grease. It will only take an hour or so for the fat to harden so you can put it in the trash.