This is ryano's personal recipe for Lasagne Bolognese. This isn't even slightly authentic, but it is entirely delicious.

Half a kilogram of lean minced beef
1 tin of whole plum tomatoes
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 onion
As many cloves of garlic as you fancy
2 or 3 bell peppers
A bunch of fresh basil and oregano
Olive Oil
Tomato Puree
Half a glass of red or white wine
Some fresh mozzarella cheese, and some grated cheddar cheese
Sheets of lasagne
About half a litre of white sauce (see recipe)


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan, over a fairly high heat
  3. Add the onion and sweat it for a few minutes, until it is transparent but not coloured
  4. Add the garlic and peppers. Season with salt and pepper, add half of your fresh herbs, and continue to cook over a high heat until the peppers have been a little seared, and their skins start to crinkle. (But don't burn the garlic!)
  5. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and wine. Taste and season, then allow this to simmer gently over a low heat.
  6. Meanwhile, brown the beef in a separate pan. Drain off any fatty juices, then add the meat to the tomato sauce.
  7. Allow this to simmer for 30-40 minutes, tasting and seasoning as required.
  8. Have a cup of tea, watch TV or something for a while and then make the white sauce.
  9. Now assemble the dish: use a large ovenproof dish. First add a layer of the meat sauce, then cover this with sheets of pasta.
  10. After this first layer, proceed as follows: add a layer of meat, cover with lasagne, cover this with white sauce, and then add some cheese (grated cheddar and small pieces of fresh mozzarella) and fresh herbs.
  11. Repeat the above step until one of the following happens: you run out of ingredients, or you run out of space in your dish
  12. Top the dish with the rest of the white sauce, and some extra cheese.
  13. Place in the oven for about 30 minutes.
  14. Remove from the oven, allow to stand for about 10 minutes, then serve it up and devour with gusto!


Update: I have recently started adding a layer of young spinach leaves: delicious.

Sure, that ryano has a recipe for some exciting lasagne. I'm not as adventurous as that. Here's my basic student lasagne recipe, useful when you can't stand any more Kraft Dinner:

1 500gr package of noodles
1 to 2 lbs ground beef
1 large jar (~1.5L) of no-name brand pasta sauce
1 large bar of mozzarella cheese

Cooking directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add noodles - cook for about 15 minutes
  2. Brown the ground beef in a frying pan
  3. Pour a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a large dish
  4. Add bits of the beef to this sauce layer
  5. Add a layer of noodles
  6. Add cheese to the top of the noodles
  7. Repeat the sauce and beef, noodles, cheese layering once or twice more
  8. Add extra cheese on the top
  9. Preheat oven to, oh, 350F and stick the lasagne in
  10. Cook it for 20 or 30 minutes or so
  11. Switch the oven to broil or grill for the last minute or two to brown the cheese
  12. Let it sit for 15 minutes or half an hour before eating

That's it.

My family recipe... Not as fancy as ryano's, but fancier than earthquake's. It's a "weekend" student recipe - as in, don't think that you can make in 15 minutes plus baking time during midterms. Make it on the weekend, or on a slack-ass week.

Feeds six people at once, or two university students dinner and lunch for about two days. Mmm.... leftovers.

Fry the beef with the onion and garlic. Drain if neccessary. Mix in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, and basil. Leave simmering while the noodles are being boiled.

Boil the noodles according to package directions. My stepdad's trick is to add a little oil to the water before you boil it. This makes the noodles easier to get apart later.

While the noodles are cooking, mix the egg, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, and parsley together. It looks disgusting but it makes the lasagne really yummy. Trust me.

Shred the mozzarella. Layer in a large baking pan. I usually do noodles, sauce, noodles, cottage cheese mixture, noodles, ... , ending with a layer of noodles, and then all of the mozzarella cheese.

(Wow, I just used math notation in a recipe.... what a nerd.)

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes at 350 oF. Oh yeah, don't forget to preheat the oven. It messes with the cooking time if you forget.

This lasagne is cooking in my oven right now.... God, I can't wait until it's ready!! It smells so good... Mmm... Am I making anyone else hungry? =D

Lasagne, that most wonderful of pasta dishes, has been attributed to many geographical regions in Italy. Indeed not only does the regional recipe vary, but it's near impossible to find two different households that produce identical lasagne. This is a common phenomenon in Italy where food is simple and most recipes come handed down from family to family, as opposed to nationally published cookbooks. I'm not saying that there is no such thing in Italy, but what Italian cook, who is making the recipe that his great great grandmother has passed down the family tree, is going to have a cookbook telling him he's doing it wrong?

Lasagne has come to represent myriad dishes which are comprised of layers of pasta seperated by other ingredients, almost always cheese playing a heavy part.

Lasagne can fall into that category of food that does not come from the country people think it comes from. It's one of the oldest pasta dishes known in Italy, and food historians have linked it's origins to Greece. Lasagne is similar to some greek savory dishes featuring cheese and phyllo dough (like spanakopita). It's easy to see the logical progression in dishes like these.

Cream sauce or tomato sauce? meat or meatless? Spinach? Onion? Dried or Fresh Pasta? There are hundreds of recipes for great lagasna, and (trust me on this one) almost everyone claims that their's is the best. I have enjoyed lasagne in several guises and can say that in a contest like that there would be many ties. "Authentic" is not a word that can be applied to such a dish, as what is truly "authentic" is going to vary so much that you might as well give up, and just enjoy this most ancient of pasta dishes.
Making the noodles

Get a bowl

Put 2 cups of flour into the bowl

Put about a teaspoon of salt into the bowl

Put two eggs into the bowl

Put a third of a cup of water into the bowl

(Optional) Put a teaspoon of olive, cooking, motor, or vegetable oil into the bowl (Hint: motor oil doesn't work as well as the other types)

Mix it all

Sprinkle some flour on the counter

Put the dough on the counter and knead it

Divide the dough into three or four balls

Sprinkle some more flour on the counter

Flatten the balls, preferrably with a rolling pin, sprinkling more flour on the counter when it seems appropriate (Hint: Unless you have a whole lot of counter space, you should probably roll out one ball and use it before starting on the next ball)

Chop up the flattened dough into strips, alternating between vertical and horizontal strips

Making the cassarole

Get a glass pan with dimensions some where around 3 inches by 13 inches by 9 inches

Spread some tomatoe sauce over the inside bottom of the pan

(Optional) Sprinkle some dried parmesian cheese on the tomatoe sauce

Put on the strips from one of the flattened and chopped up balls of dough

Put on some cottage cheese

(Optional) sprinkle some shredded cheese on the cottage cheese

Repeat the steps starting with the spreading of the tomatoe sauce through this step for all three or four or so layers

Cook it all in an oven for 45-60 minutes at about 350F or 177C

Once it is done cooking, turn off the oven, take it out of the oven, or both

If you enjoy this recipe, or even if you do not, please send me 50 or more bucks (preferably of the money type)

Lasagna has an interesting provenience: originally, it referred to a molded casserole of crepes with ravioli meat and green peas in a  cheesy cream sauce, given a final round in the oven in a special, handled, clay pot. Once cooked through, for a second time, it was unmolded onto a platter.

For some reason, the Greeks invading Sicily at the time thought this hilarious, especially the handles on the pot, which reminded them of a pot used to service the other end of the digestive tract, which they called lasagnum. Sicilians, who either didn't know or care, called it lasagne.
Fast forward to the Age of Discovery. Tomatoes begin to spice up meat sauces. Then there's more tomato than sauce. The Arabs, who also had their eye on Sicily, had twigged them to the notion of using noodles instead of pancakes (Atkins dieters of a certain age think of all pasta as a kind of pancake). The cream sauce stayed, as béchamel, up until recently, as a cheese layer.

For those who are in the know, a lasagna is less a pasta dish, but a wet pizza. That is, all the normal pizza toppings apply, but in thin layers, between sauce and cheese and pasta. It's a festival dish, which means that you can use anything and everything in the sauce or topping. Which brings to mind a story.

One of the food writers for the New York Times lived (and possibly still does) in lower Manhattan. It was her habit, one fine September day, to go for a jog, pick up a few days groceries, and go home first thing in the morning.

Shall we say that by mid-morning, her life had changed. Sympathetic firemen told her the bad news: she was safer in her apartment than to try to travel, there was wreckage, and who knows what. There was electricity, gas, and water, but who knows how long. Just stay where you are, we'll give you an all clear.

Legend has it that she spent the day making lasagna, in fact a recipe very much like this. When they finally broke her free, she served them all:

Servings: Serves 9

   * 1 pound box lasagna noodles
   * 6 cups sauce
   * 24 ounces low-fat  ricotta cheese
   * 32 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
   * 1/2 cup chopped herbs (basil, oregano, and/or thyme)
   * 2 eggplants , cut into circular slices 1/4–1/8-inch thick
   * 6 to 8 zucchini , cut lengthwise into slices 1/4–1/8-inch thick
   * 5 to 6 portobello mushrooms , thinly sliced OR
   * 1 package pre sliced white mushrooms (same thing)
   * 2 red onions , thinly sliced

   * 4 tablespoons olive oil
   * 4 cloves garlic
   * 3/4 cup chopped onions
   * 2 cans (28 ounces) diced tomatoes

   * 1/3 cup chopped basil
   * ¼ cup sliced ripe olives
   * 2 T. capers
   * 1 T, or as desired, pine nuts OR walnuts, finely chopped

Sauté or oven-roast the vegetables until they are cooked through. Set aside.

To make the sauce, begin by heating the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and stir until golden brown. Add the garlic and other ingredients and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in additional fresh basil and add salt and pepper to taste, then  simmer for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. In the bottom of a 16" x 12" pan (a disposable pan is best), place a layer of dry noodles. On top of that, add about 1/3 of the  sauce, about 1/2 of the ricotta cheese, and about 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle herbs, olives, capers and nuts over the top, and add a layer of vegetables. Repeat the process. Finish with a layer of noodles, then top with tomato sauce and a thick layer of mozzarella cheese.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap, then wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a knife pokes easily through the lasagna. Remove the plastic and foil and bake at 450° for 10 minutes, or until the top is browned.

Remove lasagna from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves or other fresh herbs.

(You can double the recipe to make 2 lasagnas and freeze an uncooked one. Bake the frozen lasagna for 50 minutes instead of 35.)

Sharp-eyed cooks will recognize the sauce as a kind of puttanesca, minus the red pepper.

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