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Dinner Party Favorite Lasagna Recipe

Updated on July 15, 2014

© 2009 by Daniel Carter. All rights reserved. Copying or reproducing any portion of this article without permission is illegal and will be prosecuted.

This is by far, the best lasagna I've ever tasted. Admittedly, this recipe is a little more work than what I normally like to do, but it still fits in the overall guideline of about 30 minute preparation time. But you need to be prepared to work on this recipe in two parts, so your prep time is divided up. So that you know what to prepare for up front, here are the statistics:

Prep time: 30 minutes, divided.

Total cooking time: 2 hours, 40 minutes.

Serving time: about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

There are a few little surprises in the ingredients list that really help bring out flavor and texture. Winging it as I went, I was a little concerned how it would turn out for a dinner party, but it got rave reviews, and now there are rants about me "forking over the recipe," so to speak. So further further ado, here is Rant and Rave Lasagna.

Ingredients, Part A:

3/4 lb Italian sausage. If you buy the links, using a knife, slit the casings and remove the sausage.

3/4 lb extra lean hamburger.

1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped.

2 to 4 cloves fresh garlic, pressed, or about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder to taste.

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped Basil leaves (dried is acceptable).

1 teaspoon Oregano.

1/2 to 1 teaspoon fennel seeds.

1 teaspoon salt.

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.

6 tablespoons fresh finely chopped parsley (2 tablespoons for meat sauce, 4 set aside for Ricotta cheese).

2, 14 oz cans of crushed basil/oregano tomatoes (or one large 28 oz can).

2, 6 oz cans of tomato paste.

1, 6.5 oz cans of tomato sauce.

1, 6 oz bottle of Kalamata olives, chopped or sliced.

8 oz of canned or freshly sliced mushrooms.

8 to 10 oz can of artichoke hearts, finely chopped.

Procedure A:

In a large sautee pan with lid (or large frying pan with lid), on medium heat, combine Italian sausage and hamburger and add chopped onion, garlic, spices, salt, pepper and parsley. Brown until cooked, and then add the rest of the ingredients above, but make sure you only use 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley. Stir all ingredients together, as the mixture approaches a boil, reduce the heat to very low and let simmer for at least 2 hours.

Ingredients, Part B:

16 oz low fat Ricotta cheese

8 oz Mozarella cheese grated or sliced

8 oz Parmesian cheese grated

4 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley (from ingredients list above)

1 egg

6 to 8 lasagna noodles

Procedure B:

About 1 1/2 hours later, bring lightly salted water to a boil in a kettle or large saucepan and cook lasagna noodles for 8 to 10 minutes (or as directed on the package). While the noodles cook, in a mixing bowl combine Ricotta cheese, egg, and the remaining 4 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley. Mix well. Preheat oven to 375º. Drain and rinse lasagna noodles.

In a 9"x13" baking dish, place about half of the meat mixture on the bottom of the dish.

Arrange half of the noodles lengthwise on top of the meat mixture.

Place the Ricotta cheese mixture on top of the layer of noodles.

Place the Mozarella cheese on top of the Ricotta mixture.

Arrange the remaining lasagna noodles lengthwise on top of the Mozarella cheese.

Place the remaining meat mixture on top of the noodles.

Sprinkle generous amounts of grated Parmesian cheese over the top.

Spray foil to cover the baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray to prevent the foil from sticking to melted cheese. Cover the baking dish with foil.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes removing foil the last 15 minutes of baking time.

Cool for 30 to 40 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 average size servings, or 9 larger servings.


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    • Daniel Carter profile image
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      Daniel Carter 7 years ago from Western US

      :) Thanks, loveofnight!! So glad you're enjoying the recipes!

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 7 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      i love your cook book......thx

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

      Don't worry Daniel I have entered a competition for a free air-fare. Will keep you posted. :)

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 7 years ago from Western US

      I don't know how to resist such an offer! But then there's the money thing....

      What a nice compliment! Thanks so much. If I don't make over in the next bit, I hope you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for stopping by, blondepoet!

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

      Oh yum, Daniel I have just reached a very important decision. You seriously need to get on a plane, jump on the back of a roo, and come cook for me. You seem like a great cook, and this has my mouth salivating mmm.

    • Daniel Carter profile image
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      Daniel Carter 7 years ago from Western US

      I think you'll like it! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Dao Hoa profile image

      Dao Hoa 7 years ago

      Great recipe! My lasagna only contains cheese and tomatoes sauce. I will try yours sometime.

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 7 years ago from Western US

      Yup, that's why it's called "Bachelor's Cookbook"! Thanks for stopping by, terrowhite.

    • terrowhite profile image

      terrowhite 7 years ago

      Daniel Carter.. Are you a bachelor? lol intersting recipe :) cool hub..

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      You'll have to check back and let me know what you think!

      Thanks for stopping by, DRG.

    • DRG Da Real Grinc profile image

      Felix J Hernandez 8 years ago from All over the USA

      making this as soon as I have time.

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 8 years ago from South Wales

      Got to try it, Daniel. thanks for the recipe

    • Mitch King profile image

      Mitch King 8 years ago from Wilsoville, OR, USA

      You can never go wrong with lasagna!

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      Thanks for stopping by, denise!

    • denise.earwen profile image

      denise.earwen 8 years ago from Stockholm Sweden

      Your post is god and informative.You can't fake good lasagna. I've tried all the prepared stuff from the stores, and it's all woeful stuff, to me. Thanks for the headsup, and thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago

      I don't think I'm going to find artichoke hearts in India so I'll have to rant instead of rave! :P

      The lasagna sounds delectable anyway!:)

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      Thanks for stoppinng by, Peggy!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This sounds delicious! Would definitely be different with the kalamata olives and the artichoke hearts. Thanks for a great sounding recipe.

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      If you make it spicy, tell me what you do! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Michael Willis profile image

      Michael Willis 8 years ago from Arkansas

      I'll try this recipe. I love food!!! When I cook or create casseroles, I always like to add hot & spicy to mine.

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      Some people have commented that they don't like either, and intended to leave them out. I think it would still be very yummy without either of these. You can obviously substitute kalamata olives for regular ones, if you wanted.

      Sweet pasta dreams!

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 8 years ago from Philippines

      Darn you did it again! You made me read your food hub again just when I'm about to go off and sleep. Now I'll dream of food all night long LOL. Seriously Daniel, I have a high respect for guys who can cook, especially pasta, which happens to be my favorite. Thanks for the hub.

      Just one question though, er, will it taste the same without the fennel seeds and the Kalamata olives (coz I don't think we have any here)?

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      Oh, I'm so glad you tried it, and glad you liked it! I think you'll like this recipe as well! Thanks for stopping by!

    • keira7 profile image

      keira7 8 years ago

      Thanks Daniel I will try this recipe, also to let you know that my husband cooked your nice creamy chicken noodle soup and it was really yummy. Thanks again. See you soon my friend.

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      I don't use marinated artichoke hearts. I think the additional flavor would probably interfere with the flavor you want to focus on. I'm sure frozen artichoke hearts would work fine, just thaw and chop them. Some people don't like fennel, but I don't think it's a focus flavor at all, although others may not feel the same way. You could obviously adapt this to your liking in many ways.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • rmcrayne profile image

      rmcrayne 8 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      Brings back memories of the days when I used to enjoy spending hours preparing spaghetti sauce or lasagna for friends. I'm intrigued by the artichoke hearts and kalamatas. Do you think frozen artichoke hearts would work, or are you using marinated, which adds to the flavor profile? Unfortunately, my brother and sister (roommates) don't like Italian sausage because of the fennel.

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      Agreed, Artemus!

    • Artemus Gordon profile image

      Artemus Gordon 8 years ago

      Lasagne is such a great meal and one of the best comfort foods there is.

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      @ The Rope: My take on fennel is that it's very subtle. If you leave it out, I don't think it will be too noticeable, but for me, I loved the addition.

      @poetlorraine: You'll have to let me know what you think!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      poetlorraine 8 years ago

      lovely..... sounds great will try it

    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 8 years ago from SE US

      Yum! I can't wait to try it. Not a fan of fennel, going to have to see how the flavor melds if I leave them out. Thanks for another great idea!

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      Thanks, Enelle! Hope you love it as much as we all did!

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      What a great recipe! I will def have to give this one a try!

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      Oh yeah. No cottage cheese in my lasagna! Thanks for stopping by!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Mmm...sounds yummy! Glad you listed ricotta instead of cottage cheese!

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      Yup, you can't fake good lasagna. I've tried all the prepared stuff from the stores, and it's all woeful stuff, to me. Thanks for the headsup, and thanks for reading!

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Wow! Artichoke hearts is a definite nice touch, Daniel. I alos like your idea of Calamata olives as well. Just from reading your ingredients I can tell that this is a great recipe.

      Just a head's up: I tried to be cute once (okay, maybe twice) and opted to go with those No Bake lasagna sheets and they're horrible! I didn't like them and will never use them again.

      Thanks, Daniel! Bookmarked!

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      Kathleen, you are such a fabulous cook! Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Kathleen 8 years ago

      I can't wait to try this . . and with artichoke hearts, yum!

    • Daniel Carter profile image
      Author

      Daniel Carter 8 years ago from Western US

      You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

    • elisabethkcmo profile image

      elisabethkcmo 8 years ago from Just East of Oz

      wow, I like the idea of artichoke hearts, got to try this one, thanks for the great recipe!