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'Worth it' Lasagna

You know how sometimes you order lasagna and it's a mushy mush of noodles, cheese and meat, but not a lot of flavor otherwise? This lasagna is the exact opposite of that. It's bursting with flavor from the fresh herbs, and maintains a great texture by undercooking the noodles before they bake and adding spinach to the ricotta filling. If you're cooking for a family or a big group, I'd make the whole amount, but I've found for our family of 3, a half portion gives us enough for dinner + lunch the next day.



1 TBS Olive Oil

1 LB Mild Italian Sausage (can use hot if you like-a the spice)

1 LB Ground Beef

1/2 Onion, minced

4 cloves Garlic, minced

1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes

2 8oz cans Tomato Sauce (or one 15oz can)

2 6oz cans Tomato Paste

1/2 cup Water

1 tsp Sugar

3 tsp dried Basil

1 tsp Fennel Seeds

2 tsp Italian Seasoning

1 tsp Salt + 1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

4 TBS fresh Basil, chopped

1 TBS fresh Thyme


12 Lasagna Noodles

16 oz Ricotta Cheese

1 Egg

1 pkg Frozen Spinach, thawed & drained

2-3 cups shredded Mozzarella

3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese



  1. Heat Olive Oil in a large heavy-bottom pot or dutch oven to medium-high, and brown the Sausage & Ground Beef, Onion & Garlic

  2. Stir in the Crushed Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, Tomato Paste, Water, and Sugar, Dried Basil, Fennel Seeds, Italian Seasoning, 1 tsp Salt, & Black Pepper

  3. Simmer covered, for 1 hour, stirring every 15-20 mins

  4. After 1 hour, turn off heat & stir in Fresh Basil & Thyme

  5. Preheat oven to 375

  6. Cook Lasagna Noodles in salted water for 3-4 mins until they begin to soften but pre-al dente

  7. While noodles cook, stir together Ricotta, Egg, Spinach, & 1/2 tsp Salt in large bowl until well mixed

  8. In 9x13 pan, spread a layer of meat sauce on bottom, then layer 6 Lasagna Noodles on top (cutting noodles to fit pan if needed)

  9. Spread 1/2 the Ricotta mixture over the noodles, and top with 1 cup Shredded Mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan

  10. Spread another layer of meat sauce on top, then arrange the remaining noodles

  11. Spread the remaining Ricotta on top, then another layer of meat sauce (you may have extra meat sauce, you don't need to use it all, it makes great pasta sauce!)

  12. Finish with remaining Shredded Mozzarella + Parmesan

  13. Spray a layer of foil with Cooking Spray, cover, and bake at 375 for 25 mins

  14. After 25 mins, remove foil & bake an additional 20 mins (if needed, you can broil the top for 30 seconds at the end)

  15. Allow to cool for 15 mins before serving


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