The Best Lasagna Ever

Okay, that’s a really bold statement…but I do love this recipe! Here in Georgia, it’s getting cold and rainy out…time for some comfort food.

A Recipe: Lasagna

When I was just a teenager, Rosemary, the wife of the Minister of Music for the church I attended, invited all the choir members to their home for a youth party. She made the most amazing lasagna, the best I’d ever tasted. A few years later, our church put out a cookbook of the member’s recipes and I was so happy to see the recipe was in the book. I’ve been making lasagna with this recipe ever since. I love to make it when I have company coming over for dinner because it’s always a huge hit and pretty much impossible to mess up.

Now church cook books can be a bit tricky. The recipes are typed up by volunteers and not always easy to follow. I’ll show you the recipe as it appears in the cookbook and then I’ll give you MY interpretation and how I always make it. After that, you’re on your own.

 

 

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LASAGNE:

This recipe includes “Italian sausage” in addition to ground beef. You could just buy the Italian sausage already made (like Jimmy Dean) or you can make your own with the following recipe. I’ve tried it both ways and I have to say…making your own with this recipe to me tastes much better…and it only takes a sec.

Italian Sausage:
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. pork sausage
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp. marjoram
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil

Mix together the above ingredients and place in refrigerator overnight. (optional)

Next you brown your Italian sausage with:
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp basil
1 can tomatoes
2 Tbsp parsley flakes
2 tsp salt
2 12oz cans tomato paste

I also add in about 1 to 1 1/2 cans of water (using the tomato paste can)  because otherwise the sauce looks too thick to simmer.

You probably already know this but…be sure to brown the sausage and dip off any grease prior to adding in the tomato paste. I always let the sauce simmer for about 20-30 minutes. If you’re in a hurry, you could just use store-bought sauce. Sometimes I use that and “doctor” it up a bit with my own spices of choice.

Then, mix together:
3 cups (2 lb carton) cream style cottage cheese
2 beaten eggs
2 Tbsp parsley flakes
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp pepper

You’ll also need:
8-10 lasagna Noodles, cooked
1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, grated (I just buy one of the 4 cup packages and use what it seems to need)

Place 1/2 or 4 noodles in 13 x 9 inch baking dish. (I think it’s fine to spread a little sauce in first if you like, but the recipe says to place the noodles in first…and that’s the way I usually do it.) Spread 1/2 cottage cheese mixture over noodles. Sprinkle grated cheese over this. Add 1/2 of meat sauce. Repeat this layer again. Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Good comfort food for a cold, rainy fall day!

Best Homemade Lasagna Recipe

 

I guess you can tell I baked this around Halloween.

Here’s a printable version of this recipe:

The Best Lasagne Ever
 
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Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs of Italian Sausage OR make your own (see below)
  • Ingredients to Make Your Own Italian Sausage:
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. pork sausage
  • 1½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp. marjoram
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • Additional Ingredients needed for this recipe:
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1½ Tbsp basil
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 12oz cans tomato paste
  • 3 cups (2 lb carton) cream style cottage cheese
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 Tbsp parsley flakes
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1, 1 lb Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 8-10 Lasagna noodles, cooked
Instructions
  1. If you've wish to make your own Italian Sausage, mix together the first 6 ingredients and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. The next day, brown your Italian sausage, with garlic and basil. Once browned, dip off any grease that's cooked out.
  3. Then mix in tomatoes, parsley, salt and tomato paste.
  4. The recipe doesn't call for this but I also add in about 1 to 1½ cans of water (using the tomato paste can) because otherwise the sauce looks too thick to simmer.
  5. Let simmer for around 20-30 minutes.
  6. Mix together cottage cheese, eggs, parsley, parmesan cheese, pepper and most of the mozzarella cheese, saving some for the top.
  7. Place ½ (4-5 noodles) in 13 x 9 inch baking dish. It’s fine to spread a little sauce in first if you like, but the recipe says to place the noodles in first…and that’s the way I usually do it.
  8. Spread ½ cottage cheese mixture over noodles.
  9. Sprinkle grated cheese over this.
  10. Add ½ of meat sauce.
  11. Repeat this layer again.
  12. Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top.
  13. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
  14. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Notes
This recipe includes “Italian sausage” in addition to ground beef. You could just buy the Italian sausage already made (like Jimmy Dean) or you can make your own with the following recipe. I’ve tried it both ways and I have to say…making your own with this recipe to me tastes much better…and it only takes a sec.

 

Enjoy!


Mangia, Mangia!




Comments

  1. YOu don't put sauce in the bottom first? That is how I ahve always done it and I also make 3 layers, the top layer just being sauce and the grated cheese. My kids think MY lasagna is the best:):):) I will try yours though, I am always willing to try somethig new!!!! XO, Pinky

  2. Susan, this looks sooo yummy! Love the dish, too.

    Jane
    frugalfineliving.com

  3. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Pinky…I thought that was a little odd, too. I don't think it would hurt to put a little in the bottom, too.

  4. Susan, of all things…I've been craving Olive Garden! I will definitely write this one down. Love your new lasagna dish! What a nice surprise. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Have a great weekend.

  5. home Barbara says:

    Lasagne looks FABULOUS – perfect for a Sunday night dinner. I have a question off topic. Do you know of anywhere locally (Cobb County) I can purchase burlap wired ribbon? I'm thinking of going natural this Christmas!
    Thanks

  6. Lasagne is one of my specialties too.
    I use the Costco hot Italian sausage mixed with my beef. Though it isn't that spicy when mixed in the lasagne it does have more flavor.
    Lots of fennel just like yours. We are garlic fiends here so I use a lot more too.
    My favorite product now is the Catelli Express noodles that you don't need to boil first.
    Sauce on the bottom for sure.

  7. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Barbara,
    You might try Fabric and Fringe on Canton Road (770) 794-8106. If they don't have it, call Forsyth Fabrics or Lewis Fabrics in Atlanta. Also, you could try Karen's Fabrics in Alpharetta. Of course, there's always Hancock Fabrics and JoAnnes. Check Hobby Lobby and Michaels, too.
    Hope this helps.
    Susan

  8. Donna@Conghaile Cottage says:

    Oh your dish is GORGEOUS and the recipe will be a "MUST TRY" of course! I also LOVE eggplant SO sometimes I make my lasagna alternating with eggplant. and doesn't great food taste EVEN better in "All our Pretty Dishes"!!!
    Hugs to you,
    Donna

  9. Oh boy!! I love lasagne and haven't had it in a long time. I am thinking Sunday dinner should be lasagne!! Yum….I can't wait.

  10. Glenda/MidSouth says:

    Looks and sounds so good! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  11. Looks yummy – I have so many recipes for Lasagne – would love to find one that relicates one I had in Italy over thirty years ago, time I give up!!

    Love your dish – like the idea of 'repels food' !

  12. We love this dish. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  13. It certainly looks yummy! La

  14. YUMMO! I can't wait to try this. I haven't made that forever! I wonder if V & B can come up with something that will repel the fat grams … :-) jules

  15. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Jules…I'd buy that! :)

  16. ~Country Lady~ says:

    I LOVE your new dish! I also love the sound of your lasagna recipe. I'll definitely be trying it soon. I have always used ground veal for my lasagna and ricotta cheese…but I am also willing to try new recipes and adapt it into my repertoire of food! I love to cook. Changing things up a bit is always good! Thanks for sharing. Again, I repeat, your new dish is FABULOUS!! My mom has the Villeroy and Boch French Garden Pattern as her everyday dishes. They have so many nice pieces to accompany it. I'll have to check into this dish as a Christmas Gift for her since she doesn't have it. Thank you!

  17. Hi Susan, Your lasagna looks delish and btw, that's my spring/summer china pattern. I use Friendly Village in the fall and winter. Love both of them. Enjoy your dinner…looks scrumptious.
    Evelyn

  18. Love lasagna recipes! The dish is gorgeous! Simply perfect for these cold evenings descending upon Georgia!
    God Bless,
    Kathy

  19. I have only tried lasagna once – from scratch:) but this does sound so yummy! One question..do you cook the noodles first before putting it all together?? I probably should know this but..I admit, I'm not the best cook – ha!

  20. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    Yes…you'll want to cook the noodles first. There should be directions on the box. You don't want to overcook them or they'll be too mushy so just follow the directions. That was a great question!

  21. Melissa Miller says:

    Yummy! Susan I want to try this recipe soon. Lasagne is my all time favorite food hands down. It will have to be after our Marine Corps Ball next week though. My dress is a tiny bit tight. Oops!

    Happy weekend!
    ~Melissa :)

  22. Liz @ Infuse With Liz says:

    Thanks for sharing! I learned to make Lasagna in a Home Economics class and the recipe was similar. I've never made the sausage up, but I will try it! My son's fiance thought I was nuts when I told her I use cottage cheese (she's 100% Italian and uses Ricota) but I've always gotten good results and responses to mine! I do put sauce on the bottom first, just enough to cover it lightly….I can vouch for the Villeroy and Boch cermicplus dish…I too have one and I love it…cleans up easily too!

  23. This looks delish, too many steps for me though LOL.
    I love your dishes, so pretty.

  24. Mmmmmm…. I can smell it from here. Looks scrumptious.

    Kelly

  25. What a pretty casserole to serve this delicious sounding meal from! I ♥ V&B!! So elegant & a timeless classic. I did not know about this new finish. Laughing at Jules comment "repels fat grams" LOL

    I've used the no-boil noodles many times without problems. You just have to make sure they are fully covered in sauce so they don't end up crunchy.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I've saved it to try sometime soon.

  26. Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) says:

    Hi, Susan. Usually I am "all about food" – but today, I am all about that baking dish!! Oh Lord, it's beautiful. And it's a nice big size. Well, if you would like to enter my give-away for a LeCreuset baking dish, please come over to my blog, OK? It's nice because it's not too big, perfect for 2 people, plus there's a mini LeCreuset that comes with it! So come on over to enter! You can always give this Villeroy & Boch to me. ;)
    Best,
    Gloria

  27. That looks/sounds absolutely delicious! The pan is also charming.

  28. Hot sausage is the "secret" to this yummy stuff. Don't you just love church cookbooks?!?! franki
    p.s. I'm a "sauce on the bottom" first kind of girl, too.

  29. I am so sorry our Villeroy and Boch outlet closed here last winter. I loved scouting out wonderful bargains in the basement!
    Your lasagne looks delicious. I make it, but I don't follow a recipe.
    So you made something Italian, and I made something Southern. Come weigh in on it , Southern gal!

  30. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says:

    Hey, Susan, thanks for stopping by to see me! What a pretty dish that is from V&B. Have always loved their products. Hope you're having a good Fall so far.

  31. ~Tablescapes By Diane~ says:

    Hi lovely lady.
    I have been making Lasagne for a long long time.~~You need to put sauce on the bottom of the baking dish so the noodles will not stick.~~~Thanks so much for your Recip.

  32. ~SueSCharmingChippyCottageCreations~ says:

    Great recipe Susan! I love to change up my Lasagna dish and instead of the noodles I use shells. I mix all the ingredents together and fill the shells with the cheeses and add your sauce under and over the shells and finally some cheese over top of all. I always add some sauce first helps to spread the flavor of the wonderful sauce mixture all the way through the dish. Love your blog Sue

  33. Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods. Yours looks so cheesy and delicious, I know I'd love it.

  34. This could not have come at a better time, because I was just talking about making lasagna. It's one of those things that actually great no matter what you put in it, within reason of course. Now I really feel the need to make a pan. Love your new pan, too!

  35. I am going to try this recipe tomorrow (or this week). I bought the ingredients this afternoon.

    In the supermarket, it occurred to me that 1 can of tomatoes is not descriptive enough. It doesn't state ounces. So, I just grabbed a bunch of cans to make sure that I have enough.

    I never made it with ground pork sausage before – didn't even know that ground pork sausage was available. Sounds like it'll be great.

    P.S. I love your site and pics. I'm ready to move in! :)

  36. Rita May says:

    Sounds good. What size cans do you use? Is it the 28oz can of tomatoes?

  37. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Rita May, I just use a tall can and then if it looks like it needs more, I'll open a small can of tomatoes sauce or paste. Unfortunately, church cook books are filled with recipes that aren't real specific. lol But the food is good! :)

  38. In re-reading this…wonder if you could find the “Rosemary”, or one of her daughters or grand-daughters…her name is to the right of the recipe name…I’m sure they would LOVE LOVE to know this was featured in your blog and read by your thousands of followers. What a blast! Good ol’ church cookbooks!

    • Kathleen, I’m not sure where she would be today. She was the wife of our Minister of Music at First Baptist Church in Macon, GA back in the 70’s. I first had this recipe at their home when I was a teenager. They had the whole youth choir to their home and served this. Forget now why we were there since it’s been 35-40 years. I was thrilled when the church put out the cookbook and she had contributed this recipe because I thought it was the best lasagna I had ever eaten. Her husband, Jim, played the music/organ for my wedding when I married years later while in college. They eventually left as choir directors do and they moved to another state where he took a different position. I think Rosemary and Jim, would probably be in their late 60’s by now. I just made this recipe again this past week while visiting my son and dil. It makes a large amount so I froze half of it so they would have a few meals later own.

    • Kathleen, I just googled their names and found where they are now. Jim is the 4th one down here: http://www.fbc.cc/our_clergy_staff

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