Tested till perfect The Ultimate Lasagna
Photography by Jeff Coulson/TC Media

The Ultimate Lasagna

Layer after scrumptious layer of rich meat sauce, tender pasta and creamy cheese make this lasagna the best you'll ever have. The family-friendly classic is just as good when you make it ahead, so it's a Monday night lifesaver.

By The Test Kitchen

Source: Canadian Living Magazine: September 2013

Recipe4 out of 5 based on 89 ratings.
  • rating starrating starrating starrating starrating star
  • Prep time 45 minutes
  • Total time 3 hours
  • Portion size 12 servings


  • 12 12lasagna noodles
  • 1 tub 1tub(475 g) extra-smooth ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup 1cupgrated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1eggeggs
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cupchopped fresh basil
  • 1 1clove garliccloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp 1/4tspeach salt and pepper
  • 4-1/2 cups 4-1/2cupsshredded mozzarella cheese

Tomato Meat Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp 2tbspolive oil
  • 2 2oniononions, diced
  • 1 1rib celery, diced
  • 1 1carrotcarrots, diced
  • 4 4cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans 2cans(each 156 mL) tomato paste
  • 675 g 675glean ground beef
  • 2 cans 2cans(each 796 mL) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup 1cupred or white wine
  • 2 2bay leafbay leaves
  • 2 tsp 2tspdried oregano
  • 1 tsp 1tspsalt
  • 3/4 tsp 3/4tsppepper
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Tomato Meat Sauce: In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat; cook onions, celery, carrot and garlic, stirring occasionally,until softened, about 5 minutes.Stir in tomato paste. Add beef; cook,breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes,wine, bay leaves, oregano, salt and pepper; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days.

Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling saltedwater, cook noodles for 2 minutes less than package directions for al dente. Drain; lay noodles, without touching, in single layer on tea towel. Stir together ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce. In 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish, spread one-third of the remaining meat sauce. Arrange 3 noodles over top; sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese. Top with half of the remaining meat sauce, 3 noodles, ricotta mixture, 3 noodles, remaining meat sauce, then 3 noodles. Top with reserved meat sauce, then remaining mozzarella cheese.

: Cover with plasticwrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Unwrap before baking.

Cover with foil. Bake in 375F (190 C) oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Loosely cover with foil; let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information per serving: about

cal 551 pro 35g total fat 30g sat. fat 16g
carb 36g dietary fibre 5g sugar 10g chol 92mg
sodium 1,065mg potassium 868mg


calcium 47 iron 36 vit A 36 vit C 43
folate 33
This recipe is featured on Cooking 101: Back to basics
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