The Best Ever Lasagna

Total Time

Prep: 2-3/4 hours Bake: 1 hour + standing


15 servings

Updated: May. 18, 2023
My brother, Joe, created this lasagna based on our mom’s recipe. It’s a family favorite at Christmas, thanks to the special ingredients that make it magnifico. —Stephanie Marchese, Taste of Home Visual Production Director
The Best Ever Lasagna Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each ) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 4 Italian sausage links
  • 1 carton (16 ounces) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 8 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 12 sheets no-cook lasagna noodles
  • 21 slices provolone cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook onion in olive oil over medium heat until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, water, fresh basil, 2 teaspoons sugar and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, cook bulk sausage in a skillet over medium heat until no longer pink, 8-10 minutes, breaking into crumbles; drain. Add to sauce; simmer until mixture is thickened, about 1 hour longer.
  3. While sauce simmers, preheat oven to 350°. Place sausage links on a rimmed baking sheet; roast until cooked through, 35-40 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly; slice into 1/4-in.-thick pieces.
  4. In a small bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, egg, dried basil and remaining 1/4 teaspoon sugar.
  5. In a greased 13x9-in. baking dish, spread 2 cups sauce. Arrange 4 noodles over sauce; spread with a third of the ricotta mixture. Add 7 provolone slices, a third of the sliced sausage and 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers 2 more times, using only 1 cup sauce per layer. Spread with 2 cups sauce (reserve remaining sauce for serving on the side), remaining 2-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese (dish will be full).
  6. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, uncovered, until bubbly and deep golden brown, 60-65 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Serve with remaining meat sauce.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 509 calories, 33g fat (15g saturated fat), 106mg cholesterol, 1185mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 3g fiber), 29g protein.