Favorite Lasagna

"I have been making this lasagna for over 20 years. Everyone seems to love this recipe. It came from a 1973 McCalls cookbook."
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
photo by Anonymous
photo by Baby Kato photo by Baby Kato
Ready In:
3hrs 30mins




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

Questions & Replies

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  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Looks like this one hasn't been made in awhile, but that didn't stop me! With the awesome reviews I made it knowing it was going to be great! I used mild Italian sausage this time, but might venture out next time and get some hot. I used cottage cheese instead of the ricotta as my DS doesn't like it much. I just mixed an egg in with it and blended it together and poured it on the noodle layer. When it was cooked and set for about 15 minutes it was firm just like mozzarella and it was really good! DS had only good things to say, and it's a good thing HA! My other half said it was excellent, as she had a mouthful, so this is a 5 star all the way from us! Tony
  5. This is one the best Lasagna recipes that I have tried. I got this recipe out of a book at a library, but can't remember what the title of the book is. Can anyone provide this information ? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks. Have a great day !!


  1. Terrific lasagna Kathy. Really enjoyed the flavor and texture of the sauce, so flavorful. I did make one change to your recipe, I didn't have any ground beef so I used 2 lbs of hot Italian sausage instead. It worked great in this dish. Definitely worth the extra effort. This lasagna does not disappoint. Rich, filling, full of flavor and cheese, what more could you want. Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe. Made for Pac Spring Safari 2013



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