I made my first Lasagna 27 years ago, in 1990 – when I first arrived here in Toronto. It was a big hit. My family and friends kept asking for seconds. Everyone loves a good lasagna, right?
I usually make it with ground beef, but sometimes I make a vegetarian version if I have friends over that don’t eat meat. Either version is delicious!
In this recipe, you can either use the traditional cooked lasagna noodles or the “no-boil” lasagna noodles. I’ve made them both and they are equally great.
This recipe includes ground beef, but you can make a vegetarian version by replacing the ground beef with more mushrooms, celery and bell peppers. What I love about lasagna is that you can easily make it ahead of time, place it in the fridge and just bake it the next day.
- 2 tbsp. of olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced or a few shallots
- 5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced or ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ½ cup of chopped celery
- 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
- 398 ml (14 ounce) tomato sauce
- 156 ml (5 ½ ounce) tomato paste
- 1 tsp. of salt
- 1 tbsp. of brown sugar
- 1 tsp. of dried oregano
- ½ tsp. of dried basil
- 2 cups of cooked spinach, chop and drain the excess water
- 2 tsp. of sea salt
- ½ tsp. of ground pepper
- 8 to 10 cooked lasagna noodles or use the “no-boil” lasagna noodles
- 1 lb. of ricotta or dry cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp. of fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ tsp. of salt
- 10 to 15 oz. of Mozzarella cheese or any kind of baking cheese
- ½ cup of Parmesan cheese
- Heat oil in large deep skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook the garlic, onion and ground beef over medium heat until well browned.
- Stir in the chopped celery and mushrooms, tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, oregano, basil and the salt and pepper.
- Simmer for the next 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Mix ricotta or cottage cheese with the egg, salt, well-drained spinach and the chopped parsley.
- Spread the ⅓ portion of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan.
- Arrange half the lasagna noodles over the meat sauce.
- Put half the cheese mixture over the lasagna noodles layer, add ⅓ portion of the meat sauce and half the mozzarella, spreading all the ingredients evenly.
- Repeat from the lasagna noodles layer.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake at 180*C (350*F) for 30 – 40 minutes.
- Remove foil and broil for another 5 minutes or until cheese is browned.
- Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.