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ISO Best Lasagna Recipe

Well I don't have a good recipe for lasagna. I cut out a recipe from Saveur for a traditional lasagna but haven't make it yet. I'd really like a tried and true recipe. I guess when I've made it in the past, the sauce wasn't that special and it tended to be runny. I used to make a roast chicken lasagna with mushrooms that was very good but looking for something more traditional. My partner loves lasagna and asked me to make it for an event and I thought I'd try posting to find a winner. If I need to make a bolognese and bechamel, I'm game if it's a great recipe.

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  1. That Saveur recipe is phenomenal. I stopped trying other lasagna recipes after I made it. I also stopped trying other bolognese recipes after I made the sauce in that recipe.

    The only thing I would be concerned about is whether the texture of the pasta might suffer if you have to make it ahead of time, then bring it to an event... it's definitely best right after the 15 minute rest after coming out of the oven. Since the pasta is fresh, it does get really soft if it's sitting around for a while.

    1 Reply
    1. re: daveena

      Good to know that it is a great recipe for both lasagna and bolognese. The event is at out house so I guess I don't have to worry about it getting soggy. Thanks.

      1. I'm a firm beliver that it needs to be bechamel over ricotta. When I read a recipe that called for bechamel in Gourmet magazine my husband didn't want me to try it. He said my lasagne was already the best he'd ver had. I made the bechamel anyway and now he won't eat it any other way! I'll look for the recipe and post if I can find it. But I remember looking for it recently and couldn't find it on epicurious.com. I would love to see the Saveur recipe. Is that available online?

        4 Replies
        1. re: SweetPea914

          The Saveur archives are a mess, but I posted the recipe here:


          1. re: daveena

            Thanks so much for postng. I'm curious about the hot milk in the ragu?

            1. re: SweetPea914

              I can't find the Jan/Feb '99 issue of Cook's Illustrated that I'm almost positive explained the molecular reason for putting in hot milk and letting it absorb/evaporate before adding the other liquid ingredients... Marcella Hazan's explanation is that it "protects" the meat from the acidity of the wine and the tomatoes. In practice, it yields a super-velvety, tender, refined sauce.

              1. re: daveena

                Interesting, I may try making just the ragu for the sake of camparison.

        2. The LA Times had a nice article about "free form lasagna" a couple weeks ago. the roasted tomato lasagna seems interesting and could be a nice change from old fashioned recipes.

          1. I've made several lasagna recipes, but the one I keep going back to was one of those illustrated step-by-step recipes in Bon Appetit, and it was for an "easy" lasagna. What made the difference for me was twofold...one, the sauce was a regular bolognese based on spicy Italian sausage; and two, the cheese filling was a mix of ricotta, parmesan, egg and fresh basil all combined in a food processor (the beaten egg makes the cheese layers puff up in a gorgeous way). The spices in the Italian sausage, especially the fennel seeds, makes this taste very authentic, despite the fact that it's an "easy" method. This is the recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            I've also done a wild mushroom lasagna with a bechamel sauce (don't forget a touch of fresh ground nutmeg) that is wonderful. It was based on the Ina Garten/the Barefoot Contessa.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ballulah

              i agree 100% the bon-app is good
              but... the use of sausage is not typical as a "regular bolognese"
              a variation yes but not a reg.

            2. For a truly revelatory experience, try Marcella Hazan's Baked Green Lasagne with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style:


              Yes, it requires that you make your own pasta. But as Hazan has said repeatedly, lasagne is all about the pasta, not about sauces and fillings.

              1. I know you like bechamel, but Ina's lasagna recipe from the Family Style cookbook is out of this world - has several cheeses including a small amt. of goat. I have some friends who will literally drop everything and drive for over an hour to our place to get some of this stuff when I take the time to make it.

                1 Reply
                1. I have never read this anywhere, but I made up a ratatouille lasagna for a vegetarian friend of mine. Just substitute ratatouille for the bolognese sauce. I used ricotta that I mixed with fresh basil and Parmesan. It was pretty good.

                  1 Reply
                  1. don't use any of that lw fat/fat free cheese it don't come out right
                    also we use flat noodles instead of the more common curled edge
                    as you say it is runny if you don't let it set for 20min b4 you cut inot it the cheeses May run
                    secondly if you pile it high at it tends to slip slide and fall apart try alternated the noodles in both directions every other layer that way if you do 5-6 layers of noodles it will be more stable

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: foodperv

                      I'm usually a HUGE proponent of full fat cheese, etc, but I find that the part-skim stuff works a bit better when you have to melt and bake cheese. The full fat stuff tends to separate when it's baked and you have cheese stuff and a lot of oil floating around. Just sayin'! Don't want to step on anyone's culinary toes, foodperv!

                      And BTW, part skim is a whole 'nother ball game from low fat and/or fat free. That stuff is full of crap and tastes like it too! Part skim is just made with a proportion of skim milk, not that unnatural rubber nonsense masquerading as cheese!

                      1. re: ballulah

                        right the part skim is good stuff
                        not the low/no fat junk

                        1. re: ballulah

                          i a HUGE proponent too yah you should see the size of my belly to prove it lol

                      2. i picked up the habit over the years of using some cream cheese (neufchatel, actually) in addition to the ricotta and mozzarella. it is delicious! i was afraid this might be looked down on by the lasagna snobs, but my italian girlfriend won't let me leave it out whenever i make it!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: etowernyc

                          never heard of using cream cheese but as long as it isn't cottage cheese it is worth a try

                        2. Delia Smith's recipe for Lasagna al Forno on her website is the best I've ever tasted. It's pretty labor-intensive, but it's a pretty classic version that I find it worth the effort a couple of times a year.

                          1. http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                            You have to try this Tyler Florence one. My hubby loves this!!!!! he rants and raves begs and pleads for me to make it.

                            1. the trick that jfood uses relates to how to keep the noodles moist and separate post cooking and pre-assembly. Many suggest oil, blech.

                              jfood uses wax paper. take a long piece and place on the counter. Immediately after draining the pasta (in fact jfood takes directly out of the water with tongs) palce sheets side by side on the wax paper. Then when you need each piece just lift them one by one off the paper.works great.