One of the great things about being Italian is the love of good food. And there is no doubt that outside of the common Spaghetti & Meatballs, there is lasagna.  Lasagna is typically made during the holidays, whether it be Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving.  Yes, Thanksgiving. Growing up with an all Italian family, lasagna came after the turkey. That was the grand finale. Not some over rated over-sized poultry that was only edible with tons of brown gravy and cranberry sauce. Mind, you, I love turkey, but not without the condiments.

Lasagna has it all.  Pasta, meat, ricotta, tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan.  It is all baked for an hour or more.  It is always the long/slow cooked oven dishes, in any culture, that sing higher louder, and more beautifully than the rest.

I have tried all types of lasagna pasta, hard, fresh, pre-cooked or no-boil. Honestly, if you can find Rana fresh lasagna sheets, not only will they fit your glass pyrex casserole dish perfect, but they make them so thin, you can include more layers.  If not, Alexi is another favorite. And, if you cannot find any of those then I go with whatever is available.  The truth is, the pasta is not going to make or break this dish. It is more about the layers, the sauce, the cheese, etc.



  • 1 pound ground beef/pork/veal (combined)
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot, chopped fine
  • 1 celery stalk chopped fine (with leaves)
  • 1 medium onion (about half cup)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 24 ounce can crushed tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups spring water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves


  • 1 egg, beaten 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 pound or 16 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon combine salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


  • 1/2 box lasagna sheet pasta (you might not need it all if you use a whole box)
  • 4-5 ounces shredded whole milk mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375F.

Lay down a thin film of sauce so the lasagna pasta does not stick.

Place down the sheets of lasagna pasta evenly.

Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese mixture.

Place down another layer of lasagna pasta evenly.

Carefully pour a thin layer of meat sauce on top of the pasta, try to make it even.

Lay down another layer of lasagna pasta and add another layer of meat sauce on top.

You can continue from here to alternate and layer the ricotta and meat sauce, but most pans will bring this too close to the top. Remember, you have to add a layer of mozzarella cheese and cover with foil while trying to avoid the foil from sticking, so don’t be afraid to stop layering here.

On the final layer of meat sauce, layer with shredded mozzarella evenly and cover with foil.

Bake in covered with foil for 25-30 minutes, uncover and allow to cook another 20-25 minutes. Allow to rest at least 20-30 minutes.

There is a video I made for Ravenite Club, which is the preservation of the Italian Experience in America, so let this guide you through:

Author: raveniteclub