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Classic Italian Lasagna Recipe

Updated on October 27, 2014
Serving our classic Italian lasagna
Serving our classic Italian lasagna | Source

This is my husband's family Classic Italian Lasagna Recipe that has been in his family since his great grandmother made it as a young bride. When my husband was a young boy, he absolutely loved visiting his Italian grandmother (Anna) and her farm near Geneva on the Lake, Ohio and helping her in the kitchen. She learned to cook from her mom and talked often about being a young girl in Italy until her parents came to the USA in the early 1900's.

Anna was from Calabrese, in the southern tip of Italy and often cooked meals that her family could enjoy on a budget that lasted for several days of meals just like her own mother did, worrying about the budget and feeding a large family. She raised her own poultry for meat and eggs, grew her own hothouse tomatoes and peppers, onions, carrots and fresh herbs in her greenhouse garden that she turned into amazing soups, sauces, side dishes, salads and of course Italian Lasagna. It's loaded with layers of pasta, cheeses, meat and delicious marinara red sauce all baked in a huge roasting pan that serves up to 20 hungry people!

My husband and his brothers and sisters ate large servings of it with a simple salad at every holiday gathering. It's just not the holidays if there isn't a roaster pan full of lasagna in the oven! We continue to make it in a large roasting pan to this day since holds lots of layers, it's easy to freeze after it's cooked or to have for a few days of yummy meals that remind us of the joy of being near Grandma Anna in her kitchen. When my husband makes it for us, he often shares stories of being with his grandmother on her farm and how much she inspired him with her love of cooking. He became a Chef by trade mostly due to the inspiration of his Italian Grandma Anna and he made this recipe for our last holiday meal while we talked of how much he misses her energy, spirit and culinary talents.

image by the author: vetochemicals

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 30 min
Cook time: 1 hour 45 min
Ready in: 3 hours 15 min
Yields: 10-20 servings


  • Two pounds of lasagna pasta noodles
  • One 16 oz container Ricotta Cheese
  • One pound provolone cheese slices
  • Pecorino Romano Grated Cheese
  • Five pounds of ground chuck meat seasoned with salt, pepper, one medium diced onion.
  • Two quarts of your favorite red pasta/spaghetti sauce
Build a deep dish lasagna by adding layers of sauce, pasta, meat and cheese to fill the pan.
Build a deep dish lasagna by adding layers of sauce, pasta, meat and cheese to fill the pan. | Source


  1. Use a large pot of water and bring to a boil, add your lasagna noodles. Cook until pliable so you can work with them without them breaking.
  2. Brown your ground chuck and flavor with salt, pepper, fresh garlic and one medium diced onion. Strain and set aside.
  3. Add a ladle or two of your red sauce to the bottom of the roasting pan.
  4. Begin building your lasagna by adding the lasagna noodles first to cover the bottom.
  5. Add the next layer of ricotta cheese, a layer of provolone cheese and then a layer of your meat. Continue building each layer with sauce, lasagna noodles and then the cheeses until you reach the top of your roasting pan. Depending on how thick you create each layer, you should get at least 6-8 layers of lasagna.
  6. The top layer should be the lasagna noodles and cover them with a layer of your red sauce.
  7. Cover the entire top of the pan with saran wrap tightly and then a layer of aluminum foil to completely cover the saran.
  8. Bake in a 350 degrees for the first hour with the coverings on.
  9. Then remove the foil and saran and lower the heat to 300 degrees for another forty five minutes to an hour until the pasta is cooked at the edges.
  10. Remove from the oven and let set for at least 30 minutes to thicken and allow the cheeses to get firm so when you cut it, it won't fall apart.
  11. There are several ways to vary this recipe by adding pepperoni if you want a spicier dish and often times you'll find it made with sausage mixed with the ground meat as well as using other cheeses such as mozzarella. You can also make this dish vegetarian by adding spinach instead of the meat which is also a yummy option. You'll definitely find this lasagna recipe very filling, super tasting, moist and worth sharing.
  12. Once you have the main recipe down pat, feel free to adjust it to your own liking.
  13. Enjoy with friends and family!
Use lots of your favorite red sauce to completely cover all the noodles.
Use lots of your favorite red sauce to completely cover all the noodles. | Source

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Granite Ware 18-Inch Covered Oval Roaster
Granite Ware 18-Inch Covered Oval Roaster

This is the same type of roasting pan that Grandma Anna used to make her famous Italian Lasagna and the one my husband and I use. We love the 18" length and deep sides, it cooks evenly, is non stick without adding extra oils, it's super easy to clean and it's Made in USA.

It's not only great for making this lasagna recipe but, we also use it for our homemade salsa, roasts, stuffed shells or manicotti too.


Lasagna Baking Tip:

Cover the entire pan with saran or other clear wrap completely and then cover all of that very carefully with foil to keep in the moisture as it bakes!

Cover the lasagna with saran wrap, then foil and bake.
Cover the lasagna with saran wrap, then foil and bake. | Source

I hope you'll try this simple recipe. Although there are a few steps to creating layers of delicious pasta, it's so worth the time it takes and to make your own family memories. You'll find a useful cookbook in Mangia! Classic Italian Recipes. Thanks for visiting today, share your thoughts!


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