Traditional Lasagna

This recipe is for red sauce lasagna. You will be linked to the recipe for making red sauce. This is mostly the post where we describe how to assemble and bake the lasagna. Links to the red sauce recipe are provided. Note that if you are starting with the sauce, it takes three hours to make. While the sauce is simmering, you can mise en place the lasagna ingredients so the 20 step assembly process below doesn’t take too long.

You can assemble the lasagna a day before baking as long as you cover and keep it in the fridge. This is a nice option for a dinner party because you can prepare everything in advance. I also like to make and then freeze the lasagna when I am going to the lake and staying in a condo. I set it out in the night before to thaw in the fridge and then pop it in the oven after an exhausting day on the lake for a high-carb meal that gets my crew ready for the next day.

I know this is blasphemy, but a few years ago I started experimenting with the new version of lasagna noodles that you don’t have to boil; just put in the pan dry and they cook along with everything else. I can’t really tell the difference in taste, but they are more convenient. The down side is they are stiff so during assembly you have to be carful not to crack them and usually when assembling a lasagna, you end up having pieces along the end wall and bottom; dry noodles are harder to work with to piece in the noodle segments around the pan edge than wet noodles.


  • Red Sauce – follow link to recipe for the sauce
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 16 oz. Mozzarella cheese – shredded
  • 9-10 slices of Provolone cheese
  • 4 oz. Romano cheese – grated
  • 4 oz. Parmesan cheese – grated


  1. Mise en Place – gather and prepare your ingredients before starting. Make the red sauce in advance (it takes at least three hours).
  2. Prepare noodles: If using traditional lasagna noodles, place in a pan of hot water completely covered for 30 mins and drain. If you are using the noncook noodles you don’t need to prep.
  3. Prepare ricotta mix: in a bowl, mix ricotta, egg and nutmeg.
  4. Prepare cheese mix: Mix parmesan and Romano cheeses in bowl
  5. Assemble
    1. Spray the sides and bottom of a high-wall 9×13 pan with oil.
    2. Spread enough sauce to thinly cover the bottom of pan.
    3. Place 4 noodles over the sauce.
    4. Spoon half of ricotta mix over noodles.
    5. Top with 1/2 of shredded mozzarella.
    6. Spread 1/3rd of sauce over cheese (~1.5 cups).
    7. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup parmesan mixture.
    8. Lay four lasagna noodles over the cheese.
    9. Top with the remaining ricotta mixture.
    10. Lay Provolone over ricotta.
    11. Top with 1/3rd of sauce (~1.5 cups).
    12. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of Parmesan mixture
    13. Top with four more noodles.
    14. Spread remaining sauce on top (~1.5 cups).
    15. Top with remaining mozzarella and cheese mix.
    16. Leave lasagna on counter until ready to bake. If not baking today, cover and put in fridge for up to 24 hours.
  6. Baking
    1. If you stored the lasagna in fridge, take out 2-3 hours before baking to warm to room temp. If you froze it, put in fridge 24 hours then set out before baking.
    2. Preheat oven to 375 degs. F. two hours before serving, which is 1/2 hr before baking.
    3. Prepare a foil cover by spraying with cooking oil.
    4. Tightly cover pan with foil and bake for 25 mins.
    5. Remove foil and bake 30 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool 15-30 mins prior to serving. This gives the cheese and sauce a chance to firm up. Also, letting the cheese cool down ensures your guests won’t burn the roof of their mouths when they eat.

Note: The reason you spray the foil cover and sides of baking dish with cooking spray is to keep the cheese and sauce from sticking.