Labor of Love Lasagna

5 Mar

This is time consuming but well worth it. Can be made ahead & refrigerated or frozen.

Time: 1 hour prep, 1 hour cook           Serves: 10-12


  • Meat Sauce

  • 30 oz. marinara sauce (I used marinara sauce with a small can of tomato paste added)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup or less beef stock/water
  • Vegetables

  • 1 medium-large zucchini, diced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, diced (I used baby Bellas)
  • 6 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 1 can black olives, sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Ricotta Mixture

  • 1 15 oz. tub ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • dash each of: garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil, sage, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes
  • The Rest

  • 2 cups mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Romano/Parmesan blend, shredded/grated
  • 1/2 lb lasagna noodles, cooked about 6 minutes – drained & cooled to touch

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Meat Sauce

  • Pour liquid (beef stock/water) in bottom of a skillet, you’ll want about 1/4 inch. Heat over medium. Add ground beef. Season with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over. Remove from heat & drain. Add to marinara sauce & mix well to incorporate.
  • Vegetables

  • Heat butter over medium heat. Add zucchini & mushroom and saute for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add olives, spinach, salt & pepper. Stir well & remove from heat.
  • Ricotta Mixture

  • Mix all ingredients together until well incorporated.
  • The Rest

  • Now it’s time to assemble the lasagna. Use a large casserole or lasagna pan. Pour enough meat sauce to coat the bottom of the pan. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread about 1/3 or ricotta mixture evenly over noodles. Top with a layer of vegetables. Follow with a layer of meat sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese. Lay down another layer of noodles and repeat twice more, but leave the cheese off of the top layer. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan/Romano blend. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven & let set for about 15 minutes.

One Response to “Labor of Love Lasagna”


  1. Italian Food « detroittokyo - May 10, 2012

    […] cremolata, manicotti, Marinara, carbonara, Shrimp francese, Bolognese, Ravioli, mostaccioli, Mozzarella, tagliatelle, Fried zucchini, rollatini, Fettuccine, green linguine, Tortellini, Tetrazzini, […]

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