Total Time
3hrs 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 3 hrs

I have been making this lasagna for over 20 years. Everyone seems to love this recipe. It came from a 1973 McCalls cookbook.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Remove sausage from casings, chop the meat.
  2. In 5-qt Dutch oven, over medium heat, saute sausage, ground beef, onion and garlic.
  3. Break up beef with wooden spoon.
  4. Stir frequently, until well browned- 20 minutes.
  5. Add sugar, 1TBSP salt, basil, pepper, and half the parsley; mix well.
  6. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and 1/2 cup water, mashing tomatoes with wooden spoon.
  7. Bring to boiling; reduce heat; simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, until thick- 1-1/2hours.
  8. In large 8qt pot, bring 3qts water and 1TBSP salt to boiling.
  9. Add lasagna noodes, 2 or 3 at a time.
  10. Return to boiling; boil uncovered and stirring occasionally, 10 minutes, or just until tender.
  11. Drain in colander; rinse under cold water.
  12. Dry lasagna on paper towels.
  13. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  14. In medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, remaining parsley, and salt; mix.
  15. In bottom of 13x9" baking dish, spoon 1-1/2 cups sauce.
  16. Layer with 6 lasagna noodes, lengthwise and overlapping, to cover.
  17. Spread with 1/2 of ricotta mixture; top with 1/3 of the mozzarella.
  18. Spoon 1-1/2 cups sauce over cheese; sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmsesan cheese.
  19. Repeat layering, starting with 6 lasagna noodes and ending with 1-1/2 cups sauce sprinkled with Parmesen.
  20. Spread with remaining sauce, top with rest of mozzarella and Parmesan.
  21. Cover with foil.
  22. Bake 25 minutes; remove foil; bake, uncovered, 25 minutes longer or until bubbly.
  23. Cool 15 minutes before serving.
Most Helpful

As most ‘zaar “old-timers” are aware, I have to keep my salt intake to an absolute minimum and so I was forced to make a couple of minor substitutions – I used ½ lb. ground beef, ½ lb. Italian sausage and ½ lb. chorizo sausage; I used sodium-free canned tomatoes and added my own Italian spices and; I skipped the tablespoon of salt (none of the diners seemed to notice the absence). Also, I used MeanChef’s Theory Of Garlic Calculation (“if the recipe calls for 2 cloves of garlic, use 5 or 6”). The recipe’s only minor shortcoming is that it required closer to a full pound of mozzarella and a little over a full cup of grated parmesan (well, ok, I admit that the parmesan thing is simply due to the fact that I love to go hog-wild with the stuff). The recipe’s crowning glory was the fact that one dinner guest remarked, “I can see the ricotta cheese and I cannot believe that I am going back for seconds, because I hate ricotta!” Thank you so much for a superb lasagna, Kathy.

Mille® January 21, 2003

What a great classic lasagna! My whole family loved it! I only made a few changes to your recipe. I only had 1/2 lb. Italian sausage on hand, so I increased the ground beef to 1 lb.. Also, I did not add water to the sauce, because I was running out of time and didn't want to wait for it to cook down. The taste was still incredible, although I only let it simmer for about 45 minutes. I will definitely be making this one again! Thanks for sharing!

Kim D. August 19, 2002

I too have been making this lasagna for 20 years from the same cookbook. My family won't eat any other. Over the years I have learned to modify for organic, vegetarian or shortcuts. One shortcut I use is high quality jar sauce. I will also spice up my sausage some with additional fennel seed and crushed red pepper. I always prep the lasagna a day ahead and bake it the next day. Sets up like a picture and makes a very easy meal for entertaining.

ASeidl December 30, 2009