This lasagna recipe I got from an old “McCall’s Cooking School”  cookbook.  I have tried other recipes but I keep going back to this one.  It seem to be a favorite every time I serve it.


I will give you the recipe as it is in the book and put in (parentheses) the changes I have made to the recipe.

You can make the sauce ahead of time.


To make the sauce you will need:

  • 1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage (5 links)
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 4 cups canned tomatoes, undrained; or 1 can (2lbs, 3oz.) Italian-style tomatoes (Since they do not make this size can I use a 28 oz. can and a 15.5 oz. can – this gives me a little more sauce which I like)
  • 2 cans (6 oz. size) tomato paste

Remove sausage meat from outer casings; chop the meat.  In 5 quart Dutch oven, over medium heat, sauté sausage, beef (break up with wooden spoon), and onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until well browned – 20 minutes.

Add sugar, salt, the basil, fennel, pepper, and half of the parsley. Mix well.  Add tomatoes, tomato  paste and ½ cup of water, mashing tomatoes with wooden spoon.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat; simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, until thick – 1 ½ hours.

  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 12 curly lasagna noodles (¾ of a 1 lb box) (I use the whole box and add an extra layer of noodles)


In 8 quart kettle, bring 3 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to boiling.  Add lasagna, 2 to 3 at a time.  Return to boiling; boil, uncovered and stirring occasionally, 10 minutes, or until just tender. Drain in colander; rinse under cold water.  Dry lasagna on paper towels.

  • 1 container 15oz ricotta or cottage cheese, drained
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T parsley
  •  ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ lb. mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (I use 1 lb.)
  • 1 jar (3oz) grated Parmesan cheese (3/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl combine ricotta, egg, remaining parsley, and salt. Mix well.

In bottom of  13”x9”x2” baking dish begin layering as follows:


Layer 1

  • 1 1/2 cups of sauce
  • 6 lasagna (1/3 of box) lengthwise and overlapping to cover
  • spread with 1/2 of ricotta mixture
  • top with 1/3 of mozzarella
  • spoon 1 1/2 cups of sauce over cheese
  • sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan

Layer 2

  • 6 lasagna (1/3 of box)
  • spread with 1/2 of ricotta mixture
  • top with 1/3 of mozzarella
  • spoon 1 1/2 cups of sauce over cheese
  • sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan

Layer 3

  • 6 lasagna (1/3 of box this is where I add the extra lasagna) 
  • Remaining Sauce
  • top with 1/3 of mozzarella
  • sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan

At this point you could refrigerate and bake later or freeze.

 Cover with foil, tucking around edge.  Bake 25 minutes; remove foil; bake 25 minutes longer, or until bubbly.  ( I find it takes about 1/2 hour longer. If it has been refrigerated or frozen it could take even longer.  I usually set out for 30 minutes to an hour before baking if refrigerated). Cool 15 minutes before serving.  To serve: With sharp knife, cut in squares.  Use wide spatula to serve.  Serves 8


You notice that it says it serves 8, but that would be 8 hardy servings.  The last party I had 10 guests.  I did not want to risk not having enough… so instead of making two lasagnas and having lots of leftovers I made meatballs and served them with the lasagna.  We actually had leftovers of both and everyone went home full.


If you look at the meatball recipe it takes 2 1/2 pounds of hamburger and 1/2 lb of sausage.   The lasagna recipe takes 1/2 lb. of hamburger and 1 lb. sausage.  My store sells 3 lb. packs of hamburger and 1 1/2 lbs. of sausage so it works out perfectly for me.  I just use a jar of bought sauce for my meatballs.

I like that this can be made ahead so that you can enjoy your time with your guests and not be spending all of your time cooking.

I hope you and your family will enjoy it.  

Happy Entertaining,


Printable version of recipe –  Lasagna(PDF)

This dish goes well with the following recipes:




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