Are you looking for that perfect homemade comfort food to make for dinner? Why not make a delicious lasagna? This dish is such a classic, and for good reason! Everyone adores it. Before you go looking for a great recipe, let us stop you: we’ve found the best lasagna recipe. You and your family will adore this lasagna without a doubt!
What You’ll Need:
For the sauce:
- 1 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 generous cup chopped onions
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for keeping the noodles from sticking to each other
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped (about 4 teaspoons)
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon sugar
For the lasagna:
- 2 (10-ounce) boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed in a clean towel of excess moisture
- 1 pound lasagna noodles (16 to 20 noodles)
- 1 (15-or-16-ounce) container of ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 pound pecorino cheese (or Parmesan), grated (about 1 cup)
- 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 cups)
- The first thing you want to do is sautee the mushrooms in a large (6-8 quart) pan on high or medium-high heat. Stir them with a wooden spoon or occasionally shake the pan. You might hear them squeak – that’s fine. Sprinkle salt over the mushrooms. They’ll sizzle before starting to release water. Once they start releasing water, stir in the chopped onions. Cook until the mushrooms are no longer releasing moisture and the water has boiled away. This can take about 5 minutes.
- To make the sauce, move the mushrooms and onions into a pot and add the olive oil. Stir until the mushrooms are all coated. Saute the mushrooms and onions for a minute or so before adding the garlic. Let it cook for another minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another minute. Keep 1 cup of the tomato sauce separately – this will go to the bottom of the casserole dish. Put the remaining cup of tomato sauce into the pot with the mushrooms. Add the large can of crushed tomatoes and one cup of water.
- Stir in the thyme, sugar, and red pepper flakes. If you’re using dried basil instead of fresh, add it as well. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then lower the heat. Let it simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
- Once the sauce is simmering, salt the boiling pasta water and add the dry lasagna noodles to the boiling water. Stir gently – make sure the noodles aren’t sticking to each other. Set a timer for 8 minutes or however long the package instructs to cook the noodles. When they’re ready, drain the noodles into a colander and rinse them with cool water. As you rinse them, gently separate them with your fingers.
- Prepare a couple of large cookie or baking sheets by spreading a tablespoon of olive oil over them. Place the lasagna noodles on the sheets, gently coating them with the same olive oil and spreading them out. This will keep them from sticking together.
- Now, onto the assembly. Turn off the heat under the sauce and preheat the oven to 350F. Spread that cup of reserved tomato sauce over the bottom of a large casserole dish (approximately 10×15 inches). Place a layer of lasagna noodles over the tomato sauce, slightly overlapping. Sprinkle half of the ricotta cheese over the noodles and half of the defrosted, drained and squeezed spinach overtop the ricotta. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese over the spinach and only a quarter of the pecorino cheese. Spoon 1/3 of the mushroom sauce over the mozzarella. Sprinkle half of the fresh basil over the sauce.
- Repeat these steps to make the layers. Noodles, ricotta, spinach, mozzarella, pecorino, and mushroom sauce. The final layer will consist of noodles over the sauce, the remaining sauce over the noodles, and sprinkled pecorino or parmesan cheese.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake. Spread some olive oil over the inside of the foil to keep it from sticking. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes, then take the foil off and bake uncovered for another 25 minutes. When it’s done, take the lasagna out of the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.