Lasagna With Basil and Fennel

"I've never been a big lasagna fan, but this particular version has such interesting, wonderful flavors to it that I've been known to eat an entire pan in 3 days. I've found that the amount of sauce these proportions make to be a just barely inadequate -- once or twice, I didn't have enough at the end, so my top layer of noodles was a little dry. you can remedy this by being really careful about how much sauce you use for layering, erring on the skimpy side, or you can do it my way and double the sauce recipe :) the leftover sauce is soo delicious on pasta, pizza, etc. I also like to add a few cloves of garlic to the sauce since I'm a garlic fiend."
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Ready In:
1hr 40mins




  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Mix 1 cup mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, egg and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese in medium bowl.
  • Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and fennel seeds; sauté 5 minutes. Add beef; sauté 10 minutes, breaking up meat with fork. Mix in seasoning, then tomatoes, broth and wine. Cover and simmer 8 minutes. Season sauce to taste with pepper.
  • Spoon 1 1/3 cups sauce over bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Place 3 noodles over sauce. Drop half of ricotta cheese mixture by tablespoonfuls evenly over. Top with half of basil leaves, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Continue layering with 3 noodles, 2 cups sauce, remaining ricotta cheese mixture, remaining basil, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Finish with 3 noodles, 2 cups sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese (reserve remaining sauce for another use). Cover with foil; place on baking sheet.
  • Bake lasagna until heated through, about 1 hour. Uncover; let stand 15 minutes. Cut lasagna into squares.

Questions & Replies

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  1. For years I’ve looked fora recipe that compared to old fashion Italian Sunday lasagna. This is it. I did add garlic in at the time I added fennel and used 1/2 Italian sausage 1/2 ground beef. Strongly suggest that. Make this dish!!
  2. I just made this one and it tasted GREAT! I only used about half a cup of broth and omitted the wine (because i didn't have any) in the sauce and it still turned out great. The fennel seed makes such a difference to the sauce! I'll definitely make this one again.
  3. I had made this recipe before and was about to post it myself. I have made it for a dinner party and everyone asked for the recipe. YUM, yum! As is said above, I make extra sauce to serve in other ways.


  1. I did add garlic in at the time I added fennel and used 1/2 Italian sausage 1/2 ground beef.


I'm a meat-and-potatoes kind of girl at heart, and I've only recently started forcing myself to eat vegetables -- I suppose that's what happens when you are raised to believe that a meal isn't really a meal unless you're eating meat! My passion for food started with my parents -- since food is such a focus of Filipino culture, anything was an excuse for cooking a large meal and inviting friends or family over. Cooking, on the other hand, is something I've only recently started enjoying -- I love having adventures in different parts of the world, and when I can't do that, I love having adventures in the kitchen. So I experiment a lot with new recipes and I'm always in search of the perfect version of something. I moved up to NYC a couple of years ago for work, and it's been heaven. The food in this city is fantastic, and I especially enjoy going out into Queens for ethnic dining. I work at a union full of burly guys who love to eat, so it's nice to be in like-minded company -- the granola vegans at my last non-profit job just didn't understand. I'm taking ceramics classes and I travel widely -- my next trip is to Egypt, Jordan and Jerusalem in the fall.
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