Meat sauce for lasagne recipe

Meat sauce for lasagne recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef pasta

This delicious meat sauce is made with beef and is ideal for use in lasagne and other Italian pasta dishes. Bellissima!

13 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 small celery sticks, diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1kg lean beef mince
  • 2 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 500g passata
  • 250ml red wine
  • 4 to 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:1hr30min ›Ready in:1hr50min

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or deep frying pan.
  2. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook slowly for about 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Brown the mince in the same frying pan. Add the vegetables back into the pan with the cooked mince; stir in tomato puree, passata, red wine and chopped basil.
  4. Let the sauce cook over very low heat, without a lid, for 1 1/2 or 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the ragu has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use as desired in a lasagne or other pasta recipe.


Meat sauce for lasagne

Meat sauce for lasagne

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(5)

This easy lasagna recipe is one I’ve been working on since my 7th grade home economics class. Over the years the recipe has been changed probably over a hundred times, but in the last 5 years it has not changed a single time. I finally got to a place with the recipe that I knew this was truly the Ultimate Meat Lasagna.

Classic noodles are favored for recipes where you boil the noodles but this recipe calls for the no boil Barilla variety for ease and for the look. The noodles resemble handmade noodles more and serve in a neater way.

A Simple Meat Lasagna

Lasagna is the perfect dish to make when serving a crowd, because it can be made in advance, and just about everybody loves it. It is a layered dish with numerous levels of pasta alternated with sauce and ingredients such as meats, vegetables, and cheese, and usually topped with melted grated cheese. For a complete meal, serve it with garlic bread and a Caesar salad.

Once you learn how to make lasagna with this basic recipe, you can vary the recipe to suit your tastes. You can make it vegetarian by substituting spinach or roasted vegetables instead of the ground beef. You can make it meatier by adding sausage. You can make it leaner by using ground chicken or turkey instead of beef.

Not only can you change up the meat and vegetable ingredients, but you can make it creamier by using an alfredo sauce or vodka sauce. You can make it Mexican-style by using seasoned taco meat, enchilada sauce, and pepper jack cheese. The possibilities really are endless.

The flat, wide lasagna pasta noodles are believed to be one of the oldest types of pasta in the culinary world. The dish is believed to have originated in the Naples region of Italy during the Middle Ages. Although, in ancient Rome, there was a dish similar to a traditional lasagna called lasana or lasanum, which is Latin for the words "container" or "pot."

Lasagna with Speedy Meat Sauce

By Chef Michael Smith &bull 10 years ago

The best lasagna is made with two different sauces: a tomato sauce and a cheese sauce. It’s the sort of dish that’s worth taking the time to make it right, but that doesn’t mean you have to slave away in the kitchen for hours. There are lots of ways to speed up the process and still enjoy spectacular results!


for the meat sauce:
a few splashes olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 whole head garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef
4 Italian sausages, casings removed
1 28 ounce can crushed or pureed tomatoes, juice reserved
1 cup beef or chicken broth
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 bay leaves
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper

for the cheese sauce:
2 eggs, whisked together
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pound ricotta cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream (35%)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper

for assembling the lasagna:
1 1 pound box ready-to-bake lasagna noodles
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


For the meat sauce, begin by splashing some olive oil into a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté just until they soften and begin to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the ground beef and sausage meat. Use a wooden spoon to break the meats up into very small pieces. Add the tomatoes and their juice, beef or chicken broth, oregano, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Stir well and continue heating until the entire mixture is simmering and heated through. It’s ready for the lasagna as soon as it heats through. By not browning the meat you avoid the long simmering time that would then be necessary to tenderize it, but still add the meat’s rich flavour. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if you like.

To make the cheese sauce, simply mix together the whisked eggs, the mozzarella and ricotta cheeses and the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven to 375 °F (190 °C).

Lightly oil a 9- x 13-inch (3.5 L) baking pan. To assemble the lasagna, layer the ingredients in the pan in this order: 2 cups (500 mL) or so of the meat sauce, a layer of noodles, half of the cheese sauce, a third of the grated Parmesan cheese, another noodle layer, another meat sauce layer, another noodle layer, the remaining cheese sauce, a third of the grated Parmesan cheese, another noodle layer, the remaining meat sauce, and the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour.

Remove the foil and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, giving the top a chance to get golden brown and crusty.


  • In a heavy based pot, heat the 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown it all over, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon and stirring, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour off most of the fat, but leave some behind for flavor.
  • To the pot, add the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil and the garlic and heat over medium-high heat until the garlic just begins to turn light brown, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic immediately, leaving the oil in the pot. Add the onions to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Return the sausage to the pot. Add the red wine and cook until it has reduced by at least half, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and stir in the oregano, thyme, rosemary, fennel seeds, salt, pepper, and sugar. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook to blend and develop the flavors, about 30 min. Taste for seasoning. You should have about 16 cups of sauce.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the eggs and add the Parmesan. Beat in the ricotta cheese. Season with salt and pepper and fold in the chopped basil.
  • Heat the oven to 400°F. To make three lasagne of four layers each, begin by lightly oiling three 9x9x2- or 8x8x2-inch metal or ceramic pans (disposable pans are also fine). Cover the bottom of each pan lightly with some of the sauce. Lay down a layer of pasta in each of the three pans. Spread enough of the ricotta cheese mixture on top of the pasta to cover, about 1/2 cup. Top the ricotta with enough sauce to cover it completely, about 1/2 cup. Cover with another layer of pasta and ladle more sauce over that, followed by enough mozzarella cheese to cover, enough ricotta cheese to cover, and some more sauce. Continue with two more layers in that order: pasta, sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, and sauce. Finish with a layer of pasta, some sauce, some mozzarella cheese, and a final light layer of sauce. You should be able to easily get four layers into each pan if you have extra components, go ahead and add another layer to one or more of the lasagne. Don’t worry if the height of the lasagna exceeds the pan it settles as it bakes. Save any remaining sauce to serve with the lasagna.

Make Ahead Tips

The baked lasagna freezes well. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving or let cool completely on a rack before freezing, well-wrapped in foil. Defrost frozen lasagna overnight in the refrigerator and then bake at 400°F for about 1 hour.

Pop the mozzarella in the freezer for a few minutes before slicing the firmer cheese will be easier to slice thinly.

Meat sauce for lasagne recipe - Recipes

Lasagne with Rich Meat Sauce

Cut the lasagne sheets, if necessary, into 5- by 12-inch strips and blanch in batches in 6 quarts water brought to a rolling boil with the salt. Drop the strips into the water crisscross fashion so they don't stick together. Cook them for about 3 minutes or until the pasta is slightly undercooked. Spread the cooked strips out on a cookie sheet and lightly blot up any little pools of water with a paper towel. Oil or butter the bottom of a 9x13-inch lasagne pan and line it with a single layer of pasta strips. Do not overlap them but do let the strips climb the sides and ends of the pan a little to keep the sauce from oozing out. Pour the oil into a heavy skillet and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is transluscent, not brown. Add the ground meat and cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the lumps with the back of a wooden spoon. When the meat is cooked and smooth, season with salt and pepper, add the red wine, and sizzle off the alcohol for a minute. Reduce the heat to low, add the marinara sauce and basil, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Mix together the ricotta, the beaten egg, nutmeg, and mozzarella and romano cheeses. Lightly salt it ad add freshly ground pepper.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

To assemble the dish, spread a think layer of meat sauce over the pasta lining the pan. Spread a thin layer of the cheese and egg mixture over the meat sauce and top with another layer of lasagne strips. Repeat this layer ing sequency using all the lasagne and resist the temptation to thicken the sauce layers. The finaly layer should be cheese. Bake for 40 minutes. Check after 20 minutes to see if an excess of watery juice needs to be poured off.

Note: Lasagne reheats perfectly, in fact benefits from it. You can complete the dish in the morning and reheat it for dinner or cover and refrigerate it for a couple of days. You can also freeze it, so consider doubling the recipe and make two while you're at it. One to eat and one to freeze.

Super easy lasagna recipe

Let’s talk about the shortcuts in this recipe. We use jarred spaghetti sauce instead of making it from scratch (gasp!) and we use oven-ready lasagna noodles. This step is so important. In the past when I’ve made lasagna, I bought the regular noodles and I found that extra boiling step along with everything else so tedious. These no-boil noodles go straight from the box to the baking dish – easy.

To save time, you can buy the pre-shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan. To save money though, buy the blocks and grate them yourself. We’re only using one cup of grated mozzarella because this is absolutely cheesy enough, it saves money, and huge gobs of cheese on the top are just too chewy for me. If you like a super thick cheese layer on the top of your lasagna, you can double the amount of grated mozzarella.

I’m a full-fat kind of girl, so I go for full fat cottage cheese, regular ground beef, and full fat mozzarella. I even go for full-fat baby spinach. It tastes so much better than the other kind.

Notes about this recipe

Member Rating


Where’s the full recipe - why can I only see the ingredients?

At Eat Your Books we love great recipes – and the best come from chefs, authors and bloggers who have spent time developing and testing them.

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What Kind of Pasta Goes with Meat Sauce:

Classic cooking wisdom says for a chunky sauce you want a chunky noodle. I think use whatever noodle you like! But yes, bulky noodles like penne rigate, rigatoni, ziti, cavatappi, and any pasta that has been bronze cut are great, as they have a slightly rougher exterior. Try and find a noodle with some texture or ridges on the outside which help them grab on to the meat sauce.

You can also use a thicker long pasta like linguine, bucatini, or fettucine.

Whatever shape noodle you feel like boiling up, toss it with some of this ragu-like sauce, sprinkle over some Parm, add a salad, and things are going to feel a-ok. More than a-ok.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until just soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1-2 more minutes.

Add the ground beef, ground veal, ground pork, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 6-8 minutes, breaking up the meat as you stir. Add the cream and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 more minutes.

Add the pureed and diced tomatoes and turn the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook for 5 minutes then remove the pan from the heat.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the Parmesan, the basil, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

Spread 1/4 cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Place 3 noodles in an even layer over the sauce. Top the noodles with 1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture, spreading it evenly over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Top with 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce, spreading evenly.

Repeat the layers of noodles, ricotta, Mozzarella, and meat sauce 2 more times. Place the 3 remaining lasagna noodles over the last layer of meat sauce. Top with the remaining meat sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Mozzarella cheese, and then the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Cover the lasagna with non-stick foil, or greased foil, and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes then remove the foil. Let bake for 25 more minutes or until the cheese has started to brown and the sauce is bubbly.

Remove the lasagna from the oven and let cool, lightly tented with the foil, for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

This lasagna freezes well. Tightly wrap the unbaked lasagna in plastic wrap and then foil. Defrost in the refrigerator for 48 hours then bake as directed.


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