Monday, December 20, 2010

A Christmas Lasagna

It only took about 300 food wishes before it finally came true, but here is my favorite lasagna. Since this is such a traditional Italian-American Christmas recipe, I figured what better time to post it?

By the way, this is simply my rendition of Italian-American lasagna, and not intended to claim any type of superiority, authenticity, or other such nonsense. If your Nonna uses fresh pasta, or insists on a béchamel, then bless her heart, but that's not how this half-Italian rolls.

There are only two things you need for great lasagna; a thick, rich, super-meaty meat sauce, and lots of it; and a ricotta filling where only the finest cheeses are welcomed. For the sauce I love a combination of half Italian sausage and half lean ground beef. I also like lots of sauce.

If you use too much sauce, the worst that can happen is you have a plate of pasta with sauce, but if you don't use enough, you end up with dry lasagna, and there's nothing sadder than dry lasagna.

For the cheese mixture I like the holy trinity of whole milk ricotta, fresh mozzarella, and Reggiano-Parmigiano. If you use the real stuff, your lasagna will taste better. I also use twice as much ricotta as most recipes, which works great here since I use twice the meat as well. Hey, this is Christmas lasagna after all. Enjoy!



Ingredients (for a deep 15" x 10" lasagna pan):
For the meat sauce:
1 pound Italian sausage
1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup water
Note: depending on the seasoning of your sausage, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of an Italian dried herb blend.
For the cheese filling:
2 egg, beaten
2 lbs ricotta cheese
8 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed
2/3 cup freshly grated Reggiano-Parmigiano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
big pinch of cayenne
The rest:
1 lb lasagna noodles
8 oz mozzarella cheese, torn in small pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese to top

View the complete recipe

172 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looking amazing!!!
Thanks chef

Carolyn™ said...

Love this :)

Spoon Gouge said...

You know just yesterday, I was talking to my wife about what to take out to my Folks for Christmas. "Does he have a Lasagna?", she asked. "Nope", I said dejectedly. Wait till I tell her!
Thanks for the Christmas wish Chef John!

imanoodle said...

Oh My Gosh Finally! Thank you Thank you! best Christmas gift to us ever!

blogagog said...

"If you can use a grater, you should be a hater."

Are you SURE that's an old saying? :)

kuwaiti gilrl said...

woooooow
i'll try it soon
amaizing blog
thank u

Anonymous said...

I just can't wait to make this!! I was one of those 300 who requested this so THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! I always enjoy watching your videos...thanks for all your hard work. I hope you are feeling better! Merry Christmas to you and your family Chef John!

Kevin said...

Great! I havn't been visiting the site a lot recently due to lack of interest (Lets face it, the freakishly small wooden spoon can only make a certain number of comebacks). But the garlic pasta thingy looks great and i've waited OVER A YEAR for you to make a lasagne recipe! What took you so damn long? ;)

Most Authentic-Fishianados don't pre boil pasta sheets but if you don't preboil it the sheets become tasteless and the top becomes rock solid. Whereas if you preboil them it gives it more flavour (Don't forget to salt the water) and they become soft and almost creepy. It makes the dish more unified and 'melded together' as opposed to "Pasta Sheets with a meat and cheese sauce. Anyone agree?

This is actually quite different to how I make it but i'm going to give it a go! My faith in this site has been restored!

Chef John said...

It amazing how much you can tell about a person from just a single comment.

Kevin said...

Was that directed towards me? What kind of person am I? :S

Anonymous said...

Looks amazing chef!! You are on roll! Thanks!

Jessie said...

Whoa, nice lasagna! Not sure what some people are looking at, but for me your videos have never looked better or been more interesting. Thanks and MERRY CHRISTMAS to u and michele!

Chad said...

Chef, just wanted to let you know, I saw this video and immediately went and bought twice the amount of ingredients so I can cook it today (meat sauce is simmering right now actually) and on Christmas day, too. Thanks for the recipe and I can't wait until a couple hours from now when it's done!! And to Kevin - how the heck does one actually lose interest in this site? This is the best video cooking blog on the internet by far!!

Hilah said...

I got really excited watching this. Never occurred to me to lay the noodles down in different directions. I guess it would hold together better. Thanks for the recipe and video!

Healthy and Homemade said...

I should not have watched this. Now instead of working out I have the urge to throw on my raincoat, rush to the grocery store, and buy every last ingredient I need. Even though, the husband and I are having a steak dinner tonight to celebrate our anniversary. Pshhh, who needs steak?

I want lasagna.

Chef John said...

Sorry! Sounds like I messed up your anniversary plans! ;-) Happy anniversary!

Kevin said...

I didn't mean it in a bad way, I never visit recipe sites apart from this one, so even if this site only manages to keep me slightly interested, that's an amazing achievement ;)

I really didn't mean it in a negative way, I think it's a great site, it just got a bit boring the last 1 or two months.. just my opinion..

I'll probably me making this recipe tomorrow though! :)

Matt said...

D'OH! A Lasagna Pan is what I forgot to ask for Christmas! This looks awesome. And a perfect meal to make for my inlaws and outlaws. Thanks

Food Junkie said...

A good lasgna recipe is something to treasure. After suffering through a few too many frozen, meatless "meat lasagnas" from the grocery store this will be a real treat. I will have to see if I can get my son to build this with me over the holidays. Thanks Chef John and Merry Christmas.

mattias said...

i live in denmark and we dont have the Italian sausage so i was wondering what the flavor profile is of the sausage and what kind of meat it is made of??

Chef John said...

just a basic pork mixture with fennel, garlic, Italian herbs, etc.

Chris K. said...

Oh man, I want to make this RIGHT NOW. But because of the holidays our fridge is full of food already!

New Year's resolution for 2011: make more lasagna!

grumbleghoul said...

I believe I have been watching the videos on this site for about a year. I have been through the archives and have tried about 20 recipes. I have not been disappointed. ever. Sundays are my days to cook and I will be pairing this with your wonderful garlic bread recipe! THANKS CHEF JOHN.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great recipe! Do you think that ricotta can be substituted with quark? It is quite difficult to find good quality ricotta where I am from. Thank you!

Alex

Barbara said...

Hi Chef John,
I'm italian and i want tell you that your Christmas Lasagna is fantastic and i really think i'll do it for Christmas
Hello from Barbara,
Verona,Italy

Cooking With Kids said...

Alex,

Where are you located? I order Ricotta from Amazon sometimes. Though it sounds funny to order cheese from the internet, it is much better than the range I have near my house.

Anonymous said...

Is it okay to just put this in the fridge after i layer everything to bake later?

Chef John said...

Sure, may take a little while longer, but that's how lots of people do it.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed both by this delicious sounding recipe--thank you...and also that your wood spoon you use has a hole in it.

KrisD said...

Alex, (are you my brother??? Are you in Finland?? Because it would be funny if you were my brother, and I know he reads this site.....)

You could use quark, although it might be a little tangier than ricotta. What I've also done is used good cottage cheese whizzed til smooth in the food processor.

Sabrina Guzmán said...

Hi Chef John, Greetings from the Dominican Republic. I want to express that I am a fan of FW and that Id never seen a recipe of lasagna that used a mixture of Italian sausage and ground meat, must be incredible. Keep up the good work!

Food With Josh said...

Hi Chef John,

Great pasta recipe. Reminds me very much of the one I've been using, except that I don't combine the ricotta cheese with the mozzarella and parmesan. Have you tried it without combining the cheeses?

Been loving FW, keep it up!

Rita said...

YAY! good to know that i'm not the only one who uses italian sausage in making her spaghetti sauces.

Chef John said...

yes i have, it just takes longer to layer and I don't see the advantage of not mixing it in.

charlie_g68 said...

happy holidays chef! love your recipes and can't wait to try your
lasagna. btw the bread recipe is a hit @ my house and go to it frequently... so once again happy holidays to you and yours and hope everyone good health.

Ginger said...

Chef John, I had lasagna scheduled for the second day after New Year's one. It would be a classical recipe I have from my Milanesa amica - I already added to my shopping list the extra cheese. Bechamel goodbye !

Thanks - I love trying new versions. Enjoy your Holidays!

Mary (Ginger)
Greek living in Hungary

SethnJess said...

Chef John, thank you yet again for taking the time out of your busy schedule and making an amazing dish. It means a lot to me when I see people like you who strive to not only create but to teach how to create, it really is rare. I did not know I could create delicious dishes until I found this website, I love it
Thanks again for your effort, and Merry christmas!.
Seth T

Chef John said...

Thanks!! :-)

Anonymous said...

As a culinary graduate, i love seeing recipe videos, especially yours. very helpful

Im going to be making this soon for the holidays. Seems absolutely delicious. I`ve been watching all of your recipe videos. They are so helpful and entertaining. Please keep up the good work!!

Anonymous said...

um.. can you prepare the meat sauce and cheese mixtures in advance, like a day or so before you assemble and bake? would love to know.

Chef John said...

Yes u can!

Anonymous said...

Kevin,

the freakishly small wooden spoon never gets old. in my kitchen it's the one i use the most!!

Clara said...

My husband loves lasagne so I'll definitely be trying this recipe soon! Up till now I've been using the one on the back of the box, which is all fine and good, but I bet yours is going to be tastier!

Also, by the way, I cooked my first turkey ever for Xmas yesterday using your instructions, and as always it turned out fantastically! Apparently it was so good I have volunteered myself for turkey duty in all future family Xmases. =) Thanks again for your wonderful videos! I don't know what I'd do without them...

Bos said...

Chef John you are an inspiration. We made this for our Boxing Day (crazy Canadians) dinner. I only changed one thing - GARLIC EH! Added it to the meat and cheese filling.

Thanks - even our kids are watching your videos now. They love Chef John. (So much so that if a meal on my table is really good they ask "Is this from Chef John?" I may actually be chopped liver - not one of my food wishes by the way.

You Rockstar!

Hiker9 said...

So what if I made this and froze it for later? How long would I need to bake it to properly thaw and thoroughly heat it?

Chef John said...

Sorry, never done. Until it's hot! ;-)

Bos said...

The nasty frozen ones that you can buy take 2hrs from freezer to table.

This would be much better to make big batches of and freeze I would think.

Anonymous said...

There is enough on this site to cook, learn about, and enjoy for a long time. Oh, and it's all for free thanks to the dedication of Chef John. Cheers, and thanks Chef!

Christina said...

I made this dish. My boyfriend now thinks I am a God. Thank you Chef John. Thank you.

Chef John said...

You are a God. We all are. :-)

Paul D said...

This site really improves people's lives, and brings families back to the table, which is something I believe this country is in desperate need of, so my sincere gratitude to you Chef.

On another note, I always assumed my Aunt served Lasagna on Christmas day because Nana's Spaghetti and Meatballs was simply too informal for the holiday. I never knew this was an actual Italian-American tradition until now - I finally feel I have a culture all my own! (half kidding). Don’t forget the Antipasto appetizer :)

Sorry for the long-winded comment - I'm having a good evening. Hey Chef John, what about some Calabrian-American dishes? I like my pasta with lots of heat & anchovies! I think Napolitano cooking drowned other influences out.

I love this site – what a contribution!

All my best you and your family for 2011,

Paul from NY

Chef John said...

Thanks for the great comment!!

Patrick said...

Hey Chef John,

What kind of pot are you using? It's a Creuset style one? Is the heat distribution better than stainless? Less sticky?

Thanks for your great recipes.

Chef John said...

Yes, its a le creuset. I think all heavy bottomed pots work about the same. Never noticed a diff.

Iweta said...

Like the former persons that posted here - I love this recipe too. Very well explained. Thank youf or this!

I am supprised that you have not used any garlic in this recipe, which I had to change in my version of it ;-).

Anyways - great food - great recipe!

Chef John said...

The sauce and sausage had garlic in them! Thanks!

Fadhilah said...

Hi Chef John,

Greetings from Singapore! We don't have Reggiano-Parmigiano here, so is there any other cheese/product that we can replace it with?

Thanks!

Chef John said...

Sorry, I don't know your options. A hard, dry, sharp grating cheese. I know there are some Italian restaurant there, what do they use?

Fadhilah said...

Well, they have their Reggiano-Parmigiano cheese shipped overseas.
Although there are some restaurants that use Romano or Parmesan cheese instead. :D

Eric said...

I made this for the family last night and it was delicious! Even my teen daughter mentioned that was a special recipe and very good. Today the left overs went to my starving college musician son downtown, where it will be ravaged no doubt.
Thanks Chef John for another well prepared video of a classic pushed to the edge of wonderfulness!

Anonymous said...

Made this the other night and my family really enjoyed it. I told them how I stumbled upon your amazing blog. <3 Thanks for a great recipe Chef John.

Steven K. said...

I noticed a couple of comments about garlic and I wanted to mention that adding a bunch of garlic to the cheese mix really works well. I added almost a whole bulb of diced garlic and it didn't overpower the dish with too much garlic flavor. It's just for the cheese layers. And, for those layers, what goes better together than cheese, garlic & italian parsely?

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Thanks for this recipe, I will do exactly as you instructed, but... (there's always butts ;-) - think this coz I'm Polish ;-D). But I would like to see the "traditional" one from you too. There's much rumour about bechamel, so I would like to taste it too to compare both and see the advantage of yours :-D. Please, show us, and by the way - is there any simple way to make lasagna noodles itself?

And one technical question - can you force your webmaster to swich off that annoying "home" scrolling (up to the start) after clicking left mouse button? It is important to ppl who want to scroll the page with keyboard but "lost focus" (I mean technical term), and have to click the page to say to the browser "I need focus here now", and BAH! You are AGAIN ath the top of the page, while you've wanted to browse something at the and or a middle - and as you know, some sections has plenty of recipes down there... Big thanks in advance for "repairing" this issue :-)

And keep up being the best food blogger I've seen so far :-). You have a very good sound/tone/timbr of your voice for the job (maybe not the most important, but very NICE :-D).

Bishop said...

The lasagna pan you used looked about as full as you could get by the time everything got put in there.

If it was something like 15x10x3, do you think a 16x11x2.5 pan would work (only 440 cubic inches vs. 450; about 0.7 cups difference), or is it more important that the pan be as deep?

I really want to make this tomorrow, but finding the right size pan that doesn't bleed my wallet dry is proving harder than I expected.

Thanks for your help!

Chef John said...

of course deeper is better, BUT it should work fine. Just bake on a foiled sheet pan in case of any bubble-overs. enjoy!

Chef John said...

Polish Anon,

I'm sure you will eventually see a lasagna bolognese on the blog!

btw, I have absolutely no idea what the rest of your comment means! My mac mouse doesn't have a left button, so I can't even begin to figure out what you are saying.

And, I have no webmaster to ask! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi again,

Ok, you can call me Chris instead of polish anon ;-). Sorry not for introducing myself before - the internet habits ;-).

It's nice to hear about bolognese version, and you can ignore the webmaster stuff in such circumstances as you described, we will handle this :-D

Thanks and keep warm ;-)

Food Junkie said...

Finally got a chance to make this lovely lasagna. Using jarred sauce it definitely benefited from extra garlic - but it all depends on what you start with and how you like it. My preference on the next go might be to up the sauce just a little but this is one of the best lasagnas I've ever enjoyed. Thanks for the recipe Chef John.

Kim

Peter Chan said...

Chef John

Before finding this site, I always had this inner desire to cook food but never really knew where to start or what to cook. Silly but true. Then I found FW and in the past three weeks, I have tried five six of your dishes here and even though some didn't turn out as good as i would have liked but who cares. I can't can't can't wait for the weekends so I can cook. I truly enjoy the process. It feels like a spiritual journey to me. honestly. taking something from nature and turning it into food. It's like meditation. LOVE IT and I thank YOU for awakening this passion in me. After three weeks of non stop reading of articles on this site, I think I may have found a new passion in my life. So exciting. :) Thank You

ps.
I am now a hero in my family. :)

everyone is waiting for the lasagna to finish cooking. :)

Peter.

Anonymous said...

what kind of mushrooms did u use???

Chef John said...

Just regular button mushrooms

WikiCards said...

Big thanks for this blog! I'm gonna try this tomorrow! You wouldn't believe how much trouble I have to go through here in Finland to get all the ingredients for your recipes.

But so far it was all worth it! :)

podec4 said...

Stumbled upon your video of this dish a couple weeks ago & my husband & I agreed we needed to make this soon. It's in the oven right now & I can't wait to try it. This is only the second time I've made scratch lasagna & I'm anxious to see how it turns out.
Someone else commented they couldn't find good ricotta but they can easily make their own which was another video we stumbled upon from Working Class Foodies. I made it yesterday & used it in today's lasagna.
This will be a memorable Valentine's dinner to say the least. Cheesecake for dessert anyone?

Melodie (from Singapore) said...

@Fadhilah: I'm from Singapore too, and I've found blocks of Parmigiano Reggiano at Cold Storage. The brand I have is Granarolo. Good luck!

@Chef John: Once again, I find myself barely an inch from the screen. Watching you spread that cheese mixture sooo slowly was just heaven. This site makes me so happy. Thanks for the vid - I'm gonna spread some Italian love to my family now.

Tony said...

I made this last weekend and oh my god it was so tasty, thanks for a great recipe.

You inspire me a lot Chef John!

Jessica said...

I just made this and had a question... why do you have to cook the meat and mushrooms until there is no more liquid at the bottom? You add the spaghetti sauce right after and add water when it's simmering, so what's the difference?

I did it your way but was just wondering! I love your blog!

Chef John said...

Reducing the liquid in the mushrooms concentrates the flavor. :-)

John said...

Chef John, I would like to halve this recipe and make this in a 9x9 pyrex pan. What changes would there be in cooking temp or time? Thank you!

Chef John said...

Sorry, not sure, I'd have to test. Never made small lasagna!

Vincent said...

I'll have 9 huge portions :)

Mark said...

Hey!

What about onion. garlic & mirepoix?

Mark said...

Hey!

What about the addition of garlic, onion & mirepoix...? A must in lasagne?

Marie said...

I'm on a tight budget and couldn't afford a lot for my boyfriend's big birthday this weekend, but I knew that he loves lasagna and cheesecake, so I decided to make both instead of spending tons of money on something materialistic. I'm using your recipes for both dishes, and I've already made the cheesecake...it turned out great, and sans-crack! I'm attempting the lasagna tonight. Thank you so much, Chef John! Cheers.

Alexander said...

I tried this recipe today and it worked out perfect. Very moist very cheesy( maybe because i put too much cheese, but it was nice still! ) and over all resturant quality hands down. I never post on blogs but chef John, i tried your turkey ( beautiful even for a hot Australian summer ) and now this and your videos have been very helpful.

Will said...

Iam about to make this today!
Hope it will be good!

Will said...

I made it!
Was so delicious!

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

Thank you so much for your contribution.. I'll be making this lasagna TODAY!!! Love your instructions... soooo perfect!!

Christy

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

Thank you so much for your contribution.. I'll be making this lasagna TODAY!!! Love your instructions... soooo perfect!!

Christy

Ayr-onn said...

You think creminis will work? Whatever, i'll use 'em anyway!

Anonymous said...

Chef John,
I've been searching YouTube for a lasagna recipe and this looks delicious! (I am now obsessed with watching your videos and want to make everything!) I'm planning on doing a lasagna dinner for my boyfriend. He always says "it's all about the sauce." My two questions are:

1. Would your tomato sauce recipe go well with your lasagna?
2. What would you reccommend for an appetizer and side?
3. I will be having Chianti with dinner and will be making tiramisu for dessert. Good choices?

<3 Emily

Chef John said...

Just add a simple green salad and you have a perfect menu. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I don't eat sausage, so what can I use instead? Can I make it 2 1/2 pound of lean gound beef?

Chef John said...

Of course!!

philogaia said...

This recipe is such a classic example of a good lasagna that I use it as a template no matter what goes into mine. I just used it to make a vegetarian version with chantrelle mushrooms, caramelized onions, and dinosaur kale. It is yummy. My lasagnas come out much better since I started using this as a base. Not sure if that is a good thing or not. Well, portion control online.

pc said...

Chef John,

I tried out the lasagna recipe today. Came out great. Much better than anything I have bought frozen or had at a restaurant.

I made my own sauce by sweating the onions and garlic first, then I threw in some peeled tomatoes with the cores taken out, added a diced carrot, and then I let it stir for about 1/2 an hour. The sauce came more as a paste and did not have as much liquid to it but worked very well when I added the meat to it.
2 questions -
Any ideas how I can make my sauce have more liquid?
and
The meal tasted great but it did not look as good as yours. Any tricks to making it look as good as yours?

Chef John said...

If you want more liquid, just simply add more sauce. I can't give you any tips on the beef look since I'm not sure what you mean, but maybe you need to break up the meat much smaller when you prepare the sauce. Thanks!

TammyCakes said...

Yummmm I love your blog!!!!!!!!!!

Brian McNamara said...

Hey Chef John,

I love your site, it's probably one my favourite things on the internet, so thanks :)

Anyways, I made thing lasagna today. Followed the recipe to the letter, but I think something went wrong.

The ricotta cheese mixture seems to have a weird (not very nice) consistancy. Almost like wet sand or something :(

Did I get really bad quality ricotta or did I do something wrong? I'm so disappointed, lasagna is my favourite dish, I was looking forward to this so much :(

Wendy B. said...

This recipe is just one more reason that I love you, Chef John. Thanks.

(p.s. I think you mean "marinara" sauce not "marina" sauce in your ingredient list. Unless I am wrong...then you have to tell me what marina sauce is!)

Andreas said...

Just made this and it almost turned out perfect, almost. I was a little to conservative with the spices so it ended up a little tame(no chili, cayenne,nutmeg or anything exiting in the house)But the parents loved it so i choose to mark down as a sucess.I added some grated carrot and a dash of red wine vinegar in the meatsauce and it ended up with a very pleasant taste. Thanks for the lovely recipe!

Anonymous said...

Making this for Christmas day for 24 so quadrupled the recipe. The sauce is simmering in a huge pot and plann on building the four lasagnas in an hour. Serving with sensation salad, Italian bread and wine. Wish me luck,

Anonymous said...

I love Chef John.

Anonymous said...

Hi chef John. I hope this isn't a silly question, I only have cheddar and mozzarella cheese at home. Where I live, it's hard to find the cheeses you mentioned, and i don't have enough time. do you think i can use cheddar and mozzarella only?

Anonymous said...

Hi chef John. I hope this isn't a silly question, I only have cheddar and mozzarella cheese at home. Where I live, it's hard to find the cheeses you mentioned, and i don't have enough time. do you think i can use cheddar and mozzarella only?

Chef John said...

You can use any cheeses you want, but the ricotta is kind of important here.

ChefJohnsBiggestFan said...

Made this this week. my husband can't stop talking about how i have really raised the bar on my cooking abilities and i owe it to you. Thank you for this recipe it was so great ONLY i omitted the shrooms cuz they make me shiver and i didn't use sausage cuz hubby wont eat pork. BUT that being said it ROCKED and tasted EVER so quality. Thank you Chef John.

adnan said...

Hi Chef John

Tried it and loved it! Absolutely super delicious, perfect texture all around! I think your advice "you need a great meat sauce, and a great cheese mixture" is really the key--I tried lasagna before but this time it was much better.

And somehow, we ended up with some extra cheese mix, about 1.5 cup to 2 cups worth. Any idea how to use them? Thanks!

adnan said...

About that extra cheese mix....just got an idea....making calzones/pizza pockets. I Just whipped up a batch of pizza dough, will add some onion and peppers too. :-)

Chef John said...

Great idea!

1Bigg_ER said...

I just finished eating my lasagna.I think I'm Italian!!! You should see our plates..... CLEAN!! DAMN GOOD LASAGNA!!

You really need a real fully blown lasagna pan for this one.

Angela said...

This lasagna was amazing! I will never make it another way again. I used spinich instead of parsley and cottage cheese with the ricotta and mozzerella. All else was the same as yours. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

i cannt wait im doin this for my 1 yr and 3 mon. anneversary which is in less then 24 hrs. (:

Katie said...

I promised my boyfriend lasagna for Valentine's day. I'm so glad that I found this! I can't wait to try it out.

sarie said...

Im making this for my valentine. thank goodness i found this recipe. i love your site!! wish i found it sooner.

Carmen said...

We cook this Lasagna for Valentine`s Day in a heart baking dish:
http://kochen-mit-carmen.blogspot.com/2012/02/lasagne-herzform-valentinstag.html

Jessica said...

So I've made this twice now and they both turned out soupy....what did I do wrong??

Jessica said...

So I've made this twice now, and they've both turned out soupy! It's still good, but pretty watery...Do you know what I'm doing wrong?

Chef John said...

Probably overcooking and the cheese is separating. You can also try and drain the ricotta first. Watery sauce? Watery pasta? Hard to say!

LesserJohn said...

@Jessica, are you draining the grease out of the browned beef and mushrooms? I know I drained like a cup of liquid.

Anonymous said...

chef john
could i have tehg recipe for the marinara sauce
thank you

Frank0wnsMe said...

Hey Chef John!

I just made the lasagna today. I think it turned out pretty good and the taste was pretty good as well. Mine turned out a bit watery/soupy but I guess that's because I either put too much meat sauce or the cheese were still abit watery.

Anyway, thanks for taking for time to teach us all these recipes, I'm thinking to trying to make the Tiramisu Chocolate Mousse next :)

Anonymous said...

This is my FIRST homemade lasagne :) The sauce is cooking on the stove as I type! My husband has never been as excited for one of my meals. I think this one will set the standards high! Thank you so much for sharing these recipe videos! This is the second one I've made. You make cooking easy, fun and most importantly, delicious! THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Question. I'm thinking of cooking this for a church gathering and would rather not have much more than 30 minutes of cooking to do when the actual event starts. Would you recommend cooking it part of the way and then finishing once I'm at the event (there are some ovens there) or cooking all the way beforehand and then simply reheating. If so, how long and at what temp to reheat?

Chef John said...

Id cook all the way and reheat. Cant give time, but Id go with 350 until heated through.

1sweetday said...

We're going to do this for Easter!!

Corey P said...

how long do you cook your pasta, and do you boil the water first?

Anonymous said...

I have never attempted to make lasagna at home before. I tried your recipe and it turned out great, the cheese mix was so yummy. Thank you so much. I will never buy frozen again.

Huru said...

Hi Chef John

How can I replace Italian sausage in this recipe ?
Can I use any other sausage ?

Thanks :)

Celia Soudry said...

Hi Chef! I am new to your site and I fucking love it. I'm Jewish but this is almost enough to make me want to celebrate Christmas. Anyhow, is this dish appropriate for a random small dinner party? I'll pair it with red wine and side salad with fresh corn. What do u think? Thanks!!!

Chef John said...

Of course!

Markus Sommer said...

Hi Chef,

greetings from Germany.

This is the first time I've seen Lasagna being done with a prepared cheese filling, I usually just add crème fraîche and cheese during the layering.

Do you think that it makes sense to use the good buffalo mozarella for a lasagna or is that just a waste?

Love your show,
Markus

Chris Mallet said...

I don't understand how you can cook a pasta dish for 30min - 1 hr in the oven without the pasta becoming over cook.... I tried once and the pasta was all mushy after 30min of cooking.... Am I doing something wrong?

-C

Christian Oliver Pantinople said...

Hi Chef Jhon just want to ask if there's any substitute cheese for reggiano parmigiano because it is hard to find here in Saudi Arabia? I have visited to many sites to look for a good recipe of lasagna until I saw your video in YouTube and I got interested but the problem is those cheese that you used. I went to all the well known supermarkets here in Saudi but still I haven' bought any of those cheese except for the grated parmasen cheese which comes in a small plastic bottle. I can't wait to try your recipe... (sigh)

nora a said...

Can I cut out the mushrooms? Or is it an important ingredient to this recipe?

Thanks!

Chef John said...

Yes you can cut out, and yes, it's important. Both are true, that's why there is no answer for these types of questions.

Chef John said...

Christian,

Sorry, but I just don't have any idea what's available to you! Any Italians in town? They would know!

DJ said...

I made this for Christmas Eve dinner with my big Italian-American family this year, and it was a big hit! What leftovers there were are being contended over between grandma and my toddler, lol. Great recipe and great instruction - thank you! (Just checked the dates, your excellent recipe lives on 3 years after posting, bravo!)

dana enani said...

chef, do i have to use goat cheese, i hate that cheese! any other substitute or can i just not use it all?!

Chef John said...

Of course!!! It's your lasagna! Use what you like!

Kayla said...

Hi Chef!

I have made this lasagna twice and it is sooooo delicious. I have a question: how do you keep the layers from sliding apart when you cut into them? It looks so lovely until I cut it with my fork and then it falls apart into a crazy mess. Doesn't affect the wonderful taste, of course, but I would so rather show off those sexy layers. Thanks!

earlyrisers said...

Why am I just finding this blog??? Chef, you are a genius! Love the video's and humor. Looking forward to trying this recipe tomorrow.
Cheers!

Jenna Marie said...

Hi Chef John!
I love this recipe and I've made it multiple times :)
I've also tried to make a "lighter" version....don't yell at me please!
But I would love if you could check out my blog post!

Thanks!

http://jellenablogs.blogspot.com/2013/01/healthy-lasagna.html

Jenna

mdb139 said...

I made this today for my extended family. I pretty much followed the instructions, but started with a half recipe of Chef John's basic tomato sauce (which yielded about 3 cups of sauce) and just under 2 lbs (combined) of sausage and ground beef. After combining the sauce and meat it resembed sloppy joe, which is what I was shooting for.... I had in my mind that I was going to have four cups of pasta sauce before adding to the meat for whatever reason.

I used a 9x13 pan (gasp) because that's what I have.

Turned out great. The tastes were spot-on for what I had in my mind -- though I could have standed for a little more tomatoe sauce (I guess b/c I'm psycing myself out from not having enough sauce to start with). The last lasagna I made was Tyler Florence's "ultimate" lasagna -- which I thought was a total dud.

The biggst problem for me was that I over-estimated how much meat sauce I had -- meaning I didn't accurately divide it by four -- and I probably used too much on the bottom of the pan, which left too little for the top... But really, this was a relatively easy, yet very tasty lasagna.

This will definitely be my default lasagna recipe from now on. Thanks Chef John for another great recipe!

JoJo Chiu said...

If I don't have the 10x15 lasagna pan.. would it be the same if i used the one time use pans that is purchased at the dollarge store?

Chef John said...

yes!

Gerry Graham said...

Hi Chef, I found and made this recipe yesterday. It was amazing. Absolutely the best lasagne I've ever made. And more importantly, my wife said it was the best lasagne she's ever tasted! And you know that old saying - "if mama's not happy...". Thank you so much Chef John! You are the man!!

Chef John said...

Happy fo help! :)

Thomas Gregoire said...

Hi Chef John,

Just wanted to express my thanks. Before these vids, I never really cooked anything out of the ordinary, much less something that tasted so good. Thanks to these videos I have found a new hobby. This lasagna and your banana choc chip bread...wow. Now I can cook for my fiancee!

Thanks man, and thanks for keeping it all free.

Big Cheers!

Yardog59 said...

Came up 1 1/2 ladles short of sauce; too much tasting perhaps? Great Recipe, Chef John. This was my best lasagna yet.

mdb139 said...

I made this recipe for the second time a couple weeks ago for a family gathering. Because I had to accommodate a couple vegetarians in the family, I decided to prepare this as stuffed shells so that I could keep everyone happy. Not a huge surprise, but it worked out great. The cheese filling is good enough to stand alone, but the addition of the meat sauce just puts it over the top.

For the stuffed shells, I found that three cups of sauce to two pounds of meat was perfect... When I made the lasagna I wish I had had four cups of sauce. (I think the recipe calls for six cups.)

Thanks again Chef John. My family was thoroughly impressed with this recipe (even the vegetarians).

Julie Buell said...

I have been on your site off and on for years, but I didn't try this recipe until last night! OH MY GOODNESS, I've been missing out! That was the best lasagna I've ever had! It was so light and scrumptious. We're happily eating leftovers tonight. I used your recipe to make two smaller batches so we could freeze the other for later. It won't be in the freezer long. ;)

Thank you for the time you put into these videos, they make me smile and give me the desire to cook REAL food!

Michele Cryan said...

Hey CJ,

Just wanted to let you know (brag) I auctioned off 'A Christmas Lasagna" as part of a drive to raise money for the United Way and the winning bid was $150.

I delivered the lasagna and was later told it was worth double what they paid!!!!!!!

So......isn't that cool?
Michele from Courtice, Ontario

Chef John said...

Nice work!! Thanks!

Akeem said...

Hey Chef John love your site, could you adjust the recipe for a 13x9 dish or would it still fit regardless?

Tasha said...

Hi Chef John! I adore your videos (and you),and I've made quite a few of your recipes. I made your lasagne tonight: it was fantastic! Until I dropped it :(

I managed to gather it all up and slop it all back in my dish, topped it again with some cheese I had leftover, and stuck it in the oven. Of course, it tasted great, even if it was more of a de-constructed lasagne.

Thanks for all the work you put in to share your talent with us, you rock!

Alex Weber said...

I discovered Food Wishes and Chef John stumbling over this recipe on Google 3 years back. It was the best thing ever, and launched an obsessive love of the blog and of cooking, much to my family's delight! Chef John, you're amazing: from this to your beef merlot to your twice baked potatoes to your mini quiches (to everything), you've showed me so many wonderful ways to show love through the stomach to family and friends. And all of this with the sometimes odd array of ingredients available here in my expat home of Beijing! (I, too, miss San Francisco for its crab meat). And your sense of humor and calming touches are peerless. Just made this lasagna again, for Christmas this time, and am so looking forward to serving it with pride! Thank you thank you! And the Happiest of Holidays!

Monta Komarova said...

AMAZING! I can't deskribe how happy I am that i discovered food wishes! Thank you for your amazing recepie describtion an nice humor in it, I am right now eating this lazagna that tingles my tongue. Thank you so much for your amazing work! :)

J. Ebisch said...

Hey John,

u want to make me heavy, don`t u ;)?

Yesterday I made ur tomatoe soup and instead of a plate, I ate the whole pot. All gone!

And now I just made ur lasagne. Oh, I counted 5.000 kcal... . Hopefully someone will visit me, before it`s all eaten the next days... .

I live in europe and visit the italian alps often. I never had a lasagne like this, but it is fantastic and especially a very interesting variation.

I think it`s a real joker for guests and many will need much time to guess what ingredients have been added / replaced :).
Thanks for ur channel, I will surely visit it again many times. Inspiring and nice to watch :)!

Have a nice weekend!

Joe

herwineherway said...

Thank you for this amazing recipe! The best lasagna I've ever made!! Everyone else loved it too.
Chef John, if you can come up with a vegetarian version that is that good, I will be forever in your debt!

J. Charles Chaplin Churchill said...

Can't wait to try this one! It looks amazing. My girlfriend is Type 1, so we don't each much pasta..or carbs in general..but we may have to treat ourselves in the near future. Thanks Chef John!

Angela Sanz said...

Hey Chef john, I'm using store bought Barilla marinara sauce. For 6 cups of marinara sauce, should I use 1 24oz jar or 2 24oz jars?
Is the conversion the same as 8fl ounces per cup?

Thank you.

Chef John said...

Yes, 2 jars! Enjoy!

Linh Ch said...

Hey! I was wondering if I could use my regular 9x13 baking dish? Would all the measurements still be the same? THANKS!happy Friday the 13th.. lol its also my birthday today

Chef John said...

Happy birthday!

I believe that pan will be too small, sorry!

michelle herbert said...

Whenever I cook I always make enough to put a 2nd meal in the freezer. I also have enough time on my hands to use homeade pasta sheets in my lasagna. Chef, do you think the homemade pasta would keep in an assembled lasagna in the freezer?

Gerardo said...

This is by Far the best Lasagna Recipe Saludos desde Mexico

Bryan Soto said...

Hi Chef John. Do you recommend cooking the noodles al dente? I've heard that's the best way to ensure a good, non watery texture.

Scott R said...

Hi Chef.
Made this last night. Its an absolute winner! :)

Cooking can be intimidating to a noob cook like myself and your videos make these recipes do-able for me.

This is far from the first recipe that I have made from FWs and certainly wont be the last.

Thanks for the recipe!
- A huge fan :))

Novonia said...

Just made this for supper and I loved it, though I did omit the eggs and ricotta since I had a really bad experience with ricotta about a decade ago that put me off the stuff for life. I just doubled the mozzarella and it turned out just fine :D
Also I do not have the lasagna pan that is extra deep so I ended up with *two* lasagna in 10x10 and 9x13 pans. (I just tore the noodles to fit) (note: I also didn't boil my noodles but let them sit in hot tap water for a few minutes - they were also wheat noodles)

Steve Buck said...

Too salty if you use store-bought sauce. Eliminate the 1 tsp of salt when cooking the meat.

alvin sentosa said...

Just made this for my girlfriend, the cooking process was so long, but the meat sauce is heavenly. After the 1 hour in the oven, the lasagna came out gorgeous, and looks really delicious, but the taste is a bit disappointing.
The cheese mixture tasted bland, i really dont understand what went wrong. This is the first time i've tried cooking with ricotta cheese and i really didnt like it, due to its lack of flavour. was soo sad.

Chef John said...

I guarantee you it was under-salted! Ricotta is very bland. Did you taste the filling? Next time taste after seasoning the filling, and if that tastes good (which it will with enough salt), then you are ready to layer! Good luck!