The Best Lasagna

By Erika on January 5th, 2013 / / 42 Comments

The BEST Lasagna | The Hopeless Housewife

Okay, I am NOT joking- this is the BEST lasagna recipe EVER.  Like, lick-off your-plate good, seriously.

My friend Keri brought this lasagna to a potluck and it instantly disappeared. She had recently moved to the area from Boston and this was a version from the cookbook North End Italian Cookbook with recipes inspired from Boston’s North End. She changed it up a a bit  and made this fantastic version.


The Best Lasagna

The Best Lasagna


For the sauce:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, smashed then minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 28 ounce can peeled and crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the lasagna:

  • sauce (above)
  • 1 pound lasagna noodles (no-cook)
  • 2 pounds ricotta cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed then minced
  • 1 ¾ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ¾ pound mozzarella cheese, shredded, plus more for topping


  1. Make the sauce.
  2. Heat the olive oil. Add the onion sauté until almost translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Do not allow garlic to burn. Add the beef and pork to pan and cook through. Drain fat.
  3. Add the tomato paste and stir until dissolved. Add the tomatoes and mix well. Add the hot water, stir well, and let the mixture come to a soft boil.
  4. Add the seasonings, stir until they are completely blended, and let the sauce simmer while you prepare the lasagna. Or, if you wish, the sauce may be made as much as a day or two in advance and refrigerated.
  5. Prepare the lasagna:
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Combine the ricotta cheese, eggs, garlic, ¾ cup of the grated cheese, parsley, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well.
  8. In a 9x13 inch baking dish, pour 3/4 cup of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. Place the lasagna noodles over the sauce in a single layer. Top with 1 cup tomato sauce. Spread one third of the ricotta mixture in small clumps cross the noodles reaching the edges of the pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese on the top. Repeat with layering the noodles, sauce, ricotta and cheese until ingredients are gone, finishing with the tomato sauce and topping it with the grated parmesan cheese.
  9. Put in oven and bake for 40 minutes. Let rest for 30 minutes.


show comments 42 responses

  • Darlene says:

    Oh wow, this looks amazing

  • Gena says:

    This looks so cheesy and yummy! I must make!

  • Jenn says:

    YUM! I need this now!!!

  • Six Sisters says:

    Your Lasagna looks amazing! Have a Happy New Year! -The Six Sisters

  • Oh my gosh, this looks amazing! I’m going to make this for my Italian husband – I’m sure he will love it. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  • This looks good, Funny I posted my Lasagna this weed also. Love sharing recipes and love any pasta dishes.
    Can’t wait to try yours. Visit me @
    New follower,
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

  • Heidi says:

    This has to be one of the best-looking lasagnas I have ever seen. If it’s as good as it looks, I can’t wait to try it! I’ll be sharing it later tonight! The new party starts at 8:00 MST. Please come and grab a featured button and link up anything new you’d like to share at

  • val says:

    Being a New Englander – this recipe makes me happy!

  • Wilhelmina says:

    My husband LOVES lasagna and I love this recipe!

  • Maryann says:

    Wow, that looks yummy! Hey, I found you on Think Pink Sundays.

  • Yum! We are pasta fiends in this house, so we’d love it. Thanks for sharing at Church Supper. Have a blessed week, Happy Valentine’s Day and come back soon.

  • MrsCzi says:

    That looks mouthwatering delicious!

  • This looks incredible!! Pinned 😉 Thanks so much for sharing!
    Have a lovely week 🙂

  • Hi Erika! I saw this linked up over at Project Inspire! Looks fabulous and I have pinned it. When I clicked on your link and saw your blog I immediately recognized you from The Taste! Bummer you got sent home! I am rooting for the girls left on your team. I too host a weekly party called the Pin Me Linky Party. It goes Fri-Tue. I would love for you to participate. I allow up to 3 links each week!

  • marla says:

    This lasagna looks perfect!! Bring some over for dinner pleeeaaasse 😉

  • I haven’t made lasagna in ages — looks so yummy!

  • This looks amazing! My co-worker and I were just talking about lasagna yesterday and then I see this. Guess it is a sign that I need to make some!
    I hope you will come by and link this up at my Pinworthy Projects Party!

  • Jayem Kaye says:

    YUM! Perused foodgawker for just the right recipe (literally HUNDREDS there!) and this looks like a winner. I have always subscribed to a mellowing agent taught to me by the absolute best authentic Italian cook I have ever met. She uses appx. 1/4 cup of raisins, finely chopped, which absorbs any acidity in the sauce and is a FANTASTIC brown sugar substitute in any sauce. Props to Velia!

  • I have this in the oven now. Sampled the sauce and wowzers. Good eats!

  • Tanya says:

    This looks delist but we are not a pork-eating family..could you substitute with ground turkey or Italian turkey sausage?

  • Laura says:

    This looks great! What is the purpose of letting it rest? Will it be too cold to serve at that point?

    • Erika Erika says:

      Hi Laura! Letting it rest for 30 minutes helps it “set” and firm up a little so it’s not a mess when cutting into it and serving. It will still be warm-hot!

  • Jen says:

    Made this last night…it really is the best lasagna!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Leen says:

    Oh my heavens this was wonderful and delicious! Made it last night and used all pork instead of the mix of beef and pork. That was the only change and it was amazing!! This is definitely restaurant quality! Will never buy a frozen lasagna again!!

  • Crystal says:

    Looks close to my recipe…. But I haven’t added mint, and instead of just pork, I’ve used sweet and hot Italian sausage. Sometimes healthier versions of the sausage, ie: turkey or chicken, and just add more fresh spices and fennel to substitute for any possible lack of flavor. 🙂 great recipe!

  • Michelle says:


    This recipe looks amazing 🙂 Do you have any input on whether I could use regular lasagna noodles instead of the no-cook? I prefer the thicker noodle. Also, if I do use the regular lasagna noodle, will the water being added to the sauce cause it to be runny (since the no-cook would probably absorb some of the moisture?



  • amelia says:

    So you don’t cook the noodles prior to placing in pan? Can you or will it effect the taste of the lasagna?

  • Sheila says:

    If I make ahead, should I bake before freezing it?

  • Clarissa says:

    Could I make this the night before and refrigerate it?

  • Jimena says:

    Me acabo de comprar un ordenador muy chulo

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  • Robin Marks says:

    What can i use in place of roctta cheese. I am allergic to it.

  • Holly says:

    I don’t love no-cook pasta. Do any changes have to be made if I use pasta I cook myself?
    Thank you.

  • Holly says:

    I’m not a fan of no-cook pasta. Do any changes have to be made if I use pasta I cook myself?
    Thank you.

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