Homemade Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese

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Make this delicious Homemade Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese when you want to serve your family something special. Saucy and Cheesy with Fresh Tender Pasta. Oh my. Click to Tweet

Make this delicious Homemade Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese when you want to serve your family something special. Saucy and Cheesy with Fresh Tender Pasta. Oh my. The extra effort is so worth the time. Believe me, you’re family will love you for it!

Easy Lasagna Recipe with Cottage Cheese

Years ago, when I was first married, I made an easy lasagna dish with cottage cheese, grated mozzarella and ground pork sausage. It also used dried lasagna noodles and your favorite marinara sauce. It was easy and we always enjoyed it. But that was then . . . .

Homemade Lasagna with Fresh Pasta and Ricotta Cheese

As I became more infatuated with Italian cooking, I knew I had to try a more advanced homemade recipe for lasagna. I’m so glad I did, and I can safely say that I will never go back to the easy version. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a time and a place for everything in everyone’s lives. But homemade lasagna is so … ooh la la.

It takes time. And it takes effort. But trust me. You’ll smile and give a sigh of contentment when you take that first bite.

 

Ingredients for Homemade Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese

For the Pasta:

  • semolina flour
  • Italian 00 flour
  • kosher salt
  • large eggs
  • extra virgin olive oil

For the Sauce:

  • ground bulk pork sausage (I like to use Oldham’s Country Sausage)
  • ground beef (80/20)
  • garlic
  • sweet onion
  • crushed tomatoes
  • basil (fresh or dried)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • crushed red pepper flakes

For the Filling:

  • fresh mozzarella
  • whole ricotta cheese
  • grated Parmesan
  • large eggs
  • Italian seasoning
  • kosher salt

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

To Make the Pasta:

Using a large stainless steel bowl or a large workspace, stir together the flour and salt. Create a well in the center and add the eggs and olive oil. Gradually mix the egg mixture into the flour using a fork or your fingers, eventually bringing the ingredients together to form a firm dough. You may need to add a few drops of water if the dough feels too dry.

Transfer the dough to a flat surface and knead the dough until it’s smooth, 3-4 minutes. Try to refrain from adding extra flour when kneading as this will give your pasta a floury taste. Dribble a little olive oil over the dough and place in a plastic bag. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. 

 

Prepare the Sauce:

While the dough rests, prepare the sauce. In a large saucepan, brown the sausage and burger. Mince the garlic and onion, and then add them to the browned meat. Cook until tender, about 1-2 minutes.

Making Homemade Red Sauace

Add the crushed tomatoes. Season with fresh or dried basil, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Simmer until thickened about 30-35 minutes. 

Fresh Herbs - Basil

Fresh Herbs vs Dried Herbs

When converting measurements for dried herbs vs. fresh herbs, simply use the 1:3 method. Dried herbs are much stronger, so you need less of them. So, if your recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of dried parsley, you would use 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley.

 

Prepare the Filling:

In a medium bowl, combine whole ricotta cheese, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, eggs, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. Mix well. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the lasagna.

 

Rolling the Pasta:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the sauce cooks, continue with the pasta. Prepare a large work area by dusting it with flour. Divide the pasta into thirds, returning the extra dough to the bag until ready to use.

Making Homemade Pasta

Flatten one piece of dough with a rolling pin to match the size of your pasta roller. Feed the dough through the machine, using the first setting of your machine. Pass the pasta through once, and then fold it into thirds and pass it through again. After that, continue feeding the pasta sheet through the machine at each level (3, 4, 5…) until you reach the desired thickness. For lasagna, I go to 6.

Cut this strip of pasta in half, which should measure about 10-11 inches after it has been cut.

Forming the Lasagna Noodles

Layer each of the thin sheets of pasta on the floured work area, without touching. Repeat with the remaining dough for a total of six sheets of pasta. At this point, cut each of these sheets in half lengthwise to form narrow strips, for a total of 12. 

Of course, you could leave the pasta in large strips, but it may be easier for you to assemble the lasagna using narrow strips. You be the judge. 

Next, prepare a baking sheet lined with a damp kitchen towel. Depending on the size of the towels, you may need 2-3 wet towels for this part.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, adding 2 teaspoons salt. Set up a large roasting pan filled with ice water next to the boiling pasta water.

Boiling the Lasagna Noodles

Cook the strips of pasta in the boiling water, a few at a time for just a little bit, 1-2 minutes once the water returns to a boil. Remove the pasta from boiling water and slip them into the ice water to cool.

Cooked Lasagna Noodles on Wet Towels

Then line them on the damp kitchen towels. Repeat until all of the pasta strips have been cooked. (The wet towels will prevent the lasagna noodles from drying out.)

 

Assembling the Lasagna:

Prepare a 12 x 16 inch lasagna pan by spreading olive oil along the bottom and sides. To assemble the lasagna, spread 1 cup sauce over the bottom of the pan. Place three strips over the sauce, overlapping if necessary. Spread another cup of sauce over the pasta and layer with another three strips. (You have now used six strips of pasta and 2 cups of sauce.) 

Assembling Homemade Lasagna in Dish

Next, spread 1 cup sauce, half of the filling, and half of the sliced mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of pasta, 1 cup sauce, the remaining filling, and the remaining slices of mozzarella.

Top with final three strips of pasta. Pour remaining sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with 1 cup grated Parmesan.

Tent the lasagna with foil, making sure it doesn’t touch the top and bake until bubbly, about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20 minutes until the top is golden and crusty. Allow to rest for 10-12 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

Serving Homemade Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese

This recipe will serve 8-10 people. I like to serve Homemade Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese with a leafy green salad such as Spinach Salad with Fig Dressing and a loaf of French Bread, Rustic Sourdough Baguettes, or Tangy Sourdough.

This dish pairs nicely with your favorite Chianti or Beaujolais wine.

See more Italian Dishes Here.

Recipe for Homemade Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese

Here is a delicious recipe when you want to serve your family something special.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Bulk Pork Sausage, Comfort Food, Ground Beef, Homemade Pasta, Homemade Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Parmesan
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 44 minutes
Resting Time:: 42 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 16 minutes
Servings: 8

Equipment

Pasta Roller Set
Pastry Wheel
Cuisinart Cookware
Bakeware Set

Ingredients

Pasta:

Sauce:

  • 1 pound bulk ground sausage
  • 1 pound ground beef 80/20
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 56 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Filling:

  • 16 oz. fresh mozzarella thinly sliced
  • 30 oz. whole ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan

Instructions

To Make the Pasta:

  • In a large stainless steel bowl or floured workspace, stir together the flour and salt. Create a well in the center and add the eggs and olive oil. Gradually mix the egg mixture into the flour using a fork or your fingers, eventually bringing the ingredients together to form a firm dough. You may need to add a few drops of water if the dough feels too dry.
  • Transfer the dough to a flat surface and knead the dough until it's smooth, 3-4 minutes. Try to refrain from adding extra flour when kneading as this will give your pasta a floury taste. Dribble a little olive oil over the dough and place in a plastic bag. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Preparing the Sauce:

  • While the dough rests, prepare the sauce. In a large saucepan, brown the sausage and burger. Add the garlic and onions and cook until they are tender, about 1-2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes. Season with dried basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Simmer until thickened about 30-35 minutes.

To Make the Filling:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan, eggs, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. Mix well. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the lasagna.

Rolling the Pasta:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the sauce cooks, continue with the pasta. Prepare a large workspace dusting it with flour. Divide the pasta into thirds, returning the extra dough to the bag until ready to use.
  • Flatten one piece of dough with a rolling pin to match the size of your pasta roller. Feed the dough through the machine, using the first setting of your machine. Pass the pasta through once, and then fold it into thirds and pass it through again. After that, continue feeding the pasta sheet through the machine at each level (3, 4, 5...) until you reach the desired thickness. For lasagna, I go to 6. Cut this strip of pasta in half, which should measure about 10-11 inches after it has been cut.
  • Place each of the thin sheets of pasta on the floured workspace, without touching. Repeat with the remaining dough for a total of six sheets of pasta. Cut each of these sheets in half lengthwise to form narrow strips, for a total of 12.
  • Next prepare three baking sheets lined with damp kitchen towels. Bring a large pot of water to boil adding 2 teaspoons salt. Set up a large roasting pan filled with ice water next to the boiling pasta water. Cook the strips of pasta, a few at a time for just a little bit, 1-2 minutes once they return to a boil. Remove from boiling water and slip them into the ice water to cool. Then place them on the damp kitchen towels. Repeat until all of the pasta strips have been cooked.

Assembling the Lasagna:

  • Prepare a 12x16 inch lasagna pan by spreading olive oil along the bottom and sides. To assemble the lasagna, spread 1 cup sauce over the bottom of the pan. Place three strips over the sauce, overlapping if necessary. Spread another cup of sauce over the pasta and layer with three more strips. (You have now used 6 of your pasta strips and two cups of your sauce.)
  • Next, spread 1 cup sauce, half of the filling, and half of the sliced mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of pasta, 1 cup sauce, the remaining filling, and the remaining slices of mozzarella.
  • Top with final three strips of pasta. Pour remaining sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with 1 cup grated Parmesan.
  • Tent the lasagna with foil, making sure it doesn't touch the top and bake until bubbly, about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20 minutes until the top is golden and crusty. Allow to rest for 10-12 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.
  • Serve with your favorite bread and a salad. Serves 8-10.

Notes

*Pair with a nice Chianti or Beaujolais wine.

Nutrition

Calories: 1075kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 66g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 318mg | Sodium: 2118mg | Potassium: 1320mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1767IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 937mg | Iron: 9mg
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