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Classic Lasagna

Makes: 12 servings
Prep 30 mins Cook 15 mins Bake 375° 30 mins Stand 15 mins
Classic Lasagna
  • 12  dried lasagna noodles
  • 8  ounces  ground beef
  • 8  ounces  bulk Italian sausage or bulk pork sausage*
  • 1  cup  chopped onion (1 large)
  • 2  cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can  diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 8  ounce can  tomato sauce
  • 1  tablespoon  dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1  teaspoon  fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground black pepper
  • 1  egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 15  ounce carton  ricotta cheese or 2 cups cottage cheese, drained
  • 1/4  cup  grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1  recipe  Bechamel Sauce
  • 2  cups  shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
  •  Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  •  Snipped fresh basil (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again. Place 3 of the cooked lasagna noodles in a single layer on a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap; top with another sheet of plastic wrap and 3 more of the lasagna noodles. Repeat to layer all of the lasagna noodles; set aside.

2. For meat sauce, in a large skillet cook beef, sausage, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is brown, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain off fat. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. For filling, in a medium bowl combine egg, ricotta cheese, and the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese; set aside.

4. Spread about 1/4 cup of the meat sauce in the bottom of an ungreased 3-quart rectangular baking dish (this keeps the noodles from sticking to the baking dish). Arrange three of the cooked noodles lengthwise over sauce in dish. Spread with one-fourth of the filling.** Spoon one-fourth of the Bechamel Sauce over the filling. Top with one-fourth of the remaining meat sauce and one-fourth of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers three more times, starting with noodles and ending with mozzarella cheese (make sure the top layer of noodles is evenly covered with sauce). If desired, sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.

5. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until hot in the center (160 degrees F). Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with basil.

From the Test KitchenVegetable Lasagna:
  • Prepare Classic Lasagna as directed in Steps 1 and 2, except omit beef and sausage. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Add 1 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, quartered, and 1 yellow or red sweet pepper, cut into strips, with the onion and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped zucchini and/or yellow summer squash; cook for 3 to 5 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Continue as directed in Steps 3 through 5.
  • Nutrition analysis per serving: 315 calories, 17 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 16 g total fat (8 g sat. fat), 60 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 7 g total sugar, 17% Vitamin A, 62% Vitamin C, 454 mg sodium, 29% calcium, 11% iron
Make-Ahead Directions:
  • Prepare Classic Lasagna as directed through Step 4. Cover lasagna with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Uncover lasagna. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until hot in the center (160 degrees F).
  • If you prefer, substitute 8 ounces lean ground beef for the sausage.
  • For mess-free assembly, spoon the filling into a resealable plastic bag. Snip off one corner of the bag; squeeze the bag to pipe the filling over the noodles in the baking dish.
Bechamel Sauce

Yield: 2 cups
Start to Finish 20 mins
  • 3  cloves  garlic, minced
  • 2  tablespoons  butter
  • 3  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 2  cups  warm milk
  • 1/4  cup  grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground black pepper

1. In a medium saucepan cook garlic in hot butter over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in flour until combined. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Do not let brown. Gradually whisk in warm milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Nutrition Facts (Classic Lasagna)
  • Servings Per Recipe 12,
  • cal. (kcal) 380,
  • Fat, total (g) 21,
  • chol. (mg) 86,
  • sat. fat (g) 11,
  • carb. (g) 25,
  • Monosaturated fat (g) 7,
  • Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1,
  • Trans fatty acid (g) 0,
  • fiber (g) 2,
  • sugar (g) 5,
  • pro. (g) 21,
  • vit. A (IU) 775,
  • vit. C (mg) 6,
  • Thiamin (mg) 0,
  • Riboflavin (mg) 0,
  • Niacin (mg) 3,
  • Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0,
  • Folate (g) 69,
  • Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (g) 1,
  • sodium (mg) 567,
  • Potassium (mg) 351,
  • calcium (mg) 290,
  • iron (mg) 2,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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