Homestyle Lasagna - A simple classic version of lasagna with layers of noodles, ricotta and mozzarella cheese.Jump to Recipe-Skip The Small Talk
This Classic Lasagna recipe was originally published on May 12, 2016 under the name Homestyle Lasagna.
My Italian Background
I've talked about my Nana Suppa here once or twice but not too much. A few weeks ago she celebrated a birthday. When I went to visit, I asked, what I thought was a simple question "So, Nana, how old are you today?". Simple enough, right?
She says to me "I'm either 88 or 92".
No she's not totally nuts. Well, I mean, she is kind of but not in this instance. Apparently, when she came here to the United States (by boat), she was issued a new birth certificate. I don't really know the reason or the ins and outs of all of it but in the end she has two birth certificates; boasting different dates of birth and she has no idea which one is right! I don't know how she sleeps at night! I swear, I'd be doing everything in my power to know. At that age, I suppose what's a few years, but still! Right?
Anyway, when I was little we lived in a two family with my Nana living downstairs from us. I never though to ask her too much about her journey to this country with a small child in tow. As I've gotten older, of course I have a million questions. Unfortunately, as she ages she either doesn't remember or she isn't interested in discussing it. I have even tried searching on Ancestory.com for information. I found the original manifest of her journey here, with my mom on the boat The Andrea Doria (yes, it sank shortly after their trip) but that's about it. Although, it was pretty cool to see that. I just wish I could find more.
While we lived with her, we ate very well, I'll tell you that much. When she came here, she sold vegetables from her garden to get by. I honestly can't remember having vegetables or fruits from a grocery store as a small child. I only wish I had the smarts to have appreciated it back then.
While we lived with Nana we had peach trees, pear trees, blackberry trees and grapevines. She had over an acre of garden and we spent summers shucking corn, shelling peas and beans. Plus, she did all the gardening by hand, with a few tools that my grandfather made! Seriously, no fancy machinery. Did I mention we had chickens, pigs and other animals roaming around too? Sadly, I always thought they were pets...... until they weren't!
With all these memories that come and go about the amazing food of my childhood, the one most important thing is that the best foods are sometimes the most simple. Nothing fancy and no going overboard, just good, quality ingredients.
Related: My Favorite Marinara
With all that in mind, I decided to make a classic lasagna; no frills. It's not stuffed with all kinds of meats. I'm not replacing noodles with veggies. This classic lasagna is just a good sauce, pasta, fresh cheese and garden basil!
I have always found lasagna to be better a few hours after baking, or even the next day. I don't know why or if it's just about the flavors melding or whatever but when time allows, I prepare my lasagna early in the day, and then just reheat at dinner time.
If you serve too hot, it will be messy and the cheese will just ooze out. I mean, that's not necessarily a bad thing, so as always, do as you prefer.
So, as Nana Suppa would say "Mangia, Mangia"!
Related: Instant Pot Lasagna Soup
- 32 ounce ricotta cheese I use part skim
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly cracked
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 2 tablespoon parsley freshly chopped
- 16 ounce lasagna noodles
- 16 ounce mozzarella cheese cut into slices or squares
- 48 ounce pasta sauce any variety
- Fresh basil for garnish.
Prepare pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool slightly, just enough to be able to handle.
Preheat oven to 350.
Add ricotta, eggs, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and parsley to a bowl. Stir to combine well.
Spread about 2 ladles full of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Place 3 noodles, slightly overlapping. Spread an even layer of the ricotta mixture over noodles. Place a few pieces of the freshly cut mozzarella over the ricotta then add another 2 or so ladles full of sauce over that. Repeat layers two or three more times, depending on the depth of your pan. Your ending layer should be noodle, sauce and mozzarella; no ricotta.
Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes.
After 35 minutes, remove foil and bake another 10 minutes more.
Once out of the oven, allow to set up for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.
When serving, top each piece with either 1 leaf of basil or a few torn pieces.
You will have extra noodles. I always prepare the entire box of noodles because some will tear or break.