Tom Firth’s Classically Meaty Lasagna


The Sauce

1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped (optional)

1 rib celery, finely chopped (optional)

6 minced garlic cloves

850 g ground beef

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

¼ cup (60 mL) cream

1 946 mL can tomato puree

1 946 mL can diced tomatoes, drained

The filling

400 g (1½ cups or so) ricotta cheese

75 g ounces finely grated parmesan cheese

2-3 Tbs dried basil or more to taste

1 egg lightly beaten

4 cups grated mozzarella cheese

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

12 oven-ready lasagna noodles


    The sauce
  1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat on the stovetop, add onions and cook until softened then add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. Add the carrots and celery if using, cook for about 10 minutes until softened. Stir in meat with salt and pepper, and increase heat to medium-high until no longer pink-breaking up large pieces.
  3. Add cream and bring to simmer until evaporated and only clear fat remains. Stir in tomatoes, and bring to simmer. If you can, allow to simmer up to a half hour or so to really get the flavours to come together but simmer for 10 minutes at least.
  4. Heat oven to 375º F.
  5. The filling
  6. In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 55 g of the parmesan, basil, egg, salt and pepper.
  7. Assembly
  8. Spread ¼ - ½ cup (60-120 mL) of the sauce in a 9 x 13” baking dish and then arrange 3 noodles in single layer on top.
  9. Cover each noodle with the cheese mixture and sprinkle with a cup of mozzarella, cover that with about 1½ cups meat sauce. Cover with noodles and the other two layers two more times. The top layer should be noodles, the remainder of the sauce, then mozzarella and the last of the parmesan cheese.
  10. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then remove foil and bake for 25 minutes more. Allow to cool 15 minutes before serving, but if covered with tinfoil for the resting period, it keeps warmer much longer.

Note: This recipe can be very easily halved or doubled, though if doubled the meat should be browned in batches.

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