Famous Lasagna

Photo: Yunhee Kim
8 to 10 Serves

From here on, this cozy classic will become Your Famous Lasagna, sure to star at weekend parties and weeknight meals for years to come. The noodles are layered with rich meat sauce and creamy ricotta mixed with bright flecks of fresh parsley, and gooey mozzarella helps keep the whole creation together.


  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 16 lasagna noodles (about 12 ounces, or enough for 4 layers in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish)

  • 2 containers (15 ounces each) part-skim ricotta cheese

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

  • 1 large egg

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for coating

  • Basic Meat Sauce

  • 1 pound part-skim mozzarella, coarsely grated (4 cups)

  • 4 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 cup)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Generously salt water; add noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain, and rinse with cold water. Lay noodles on a baking sheet, separating layers with parchment or waxed paper.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, parsley, and egg. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

  3. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with olive oil. Begin layering: Place 4 noodles in dish, slightly overlapping. Top with half the meat sauce and 4 more noodles. Top with half the ricotta filling, then half the mozzarella. Repeat the layering process, ending with the mozzarella. Sprinkle top with Parmesan.

  4. Cover with lightly oiled foil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet; bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake until bubbling and browned, 30 to 40 minutes more. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.


Make It Faster

Skip Basic Meat Sauce for 4 cups (32 ounces) and cooking regular lasagna noodles for a good store-bought marinara and 16 (9 ounces) ''no-boil'' noodles. Layer the noodles in the sauce and cheeses. Bake lasagna for 45 minutes covered, followed by 20 to 30 minutes uncovered, until browned.

Make It Fancier
In Step 1 of the Basic Meat Sauce, add 2 ounces diced pancetta. After Step 2, add 1/2 cup white wine and cook until mostly evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes more. Continue to Step 3 in the Basic Meat Sauce recipe. Instead of dried lasagna sheets, pick up 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of fresh pasta sheets at your local gourmet market (enough to form 4 layers). Boil just until they float, 2 to 3 minutes; drain and rinse.

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