Ready in 1h 55 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Inactive: 20 minutes
Cook: 1h 20 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings


1 half (16-ounce) boxes of lasagna noodles
1 pound of bulk Italian sausage
4 cloves of divided garlic smashed
1 (12-ounce) package of cremini mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and cut on the bias
2 cups of ricotta
2 cups of grated, divided Parmigiano-Reggiano
6-7 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
1 recipe of All-Purpose Marinara Sauce, recipe follows
1 pound of grated mozzarella
2 eggs
Crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
Olive oil

All-Purpose Marinara Sauce:
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound of diced pancetta
4 large cloves of smashed and chopped garlic
4 (28-ounce) cans of Italian plum San Marzano tomatoes
2 large Spanish onions, cut into quarter-inch dice
Kosher salt


First bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Then working batches, cook the lasagna noodles until they are soft and pliable but not limp, for about 6-7 minutes. After that remove the pasta from the boiling water and lay flat on a sheet tray to cool and then reserve.

Next coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Then add the sausage and cook until brown and crumbly. After that remove from pan and reserve on paper towels.

Then ditch the fat from the pan and add new olive oil along with two cloves of garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper. After that bring the pan to medium-high heat. Once the garlic becomes golden and very aromatic, remove it from the heat and discard. Then toss in the mushrooms and season them with salt. After that cook the mushrooms until they are soft and wilted and dark brown, for about 4-5 minutes. Then remove from pan and reserve. After that repeat this process with the remaining garlic and the zucchini.

Then combine the ricotta, 1/2 the Parmigiano-Reggiano, the eggs, and the basil in a small bowl and mix to combine well and season with salt.

After that preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and in the bottom of a 9x13-inch deep-dish baking dish, add a couple ladlefuls of sauce and spread out in an even layer. Then arrange a layer of the lasagna noodles to completely cover the sauce. After that spread one third of the ricotta mixture over the pasta and place a layer of pasta going in the other direction as the first layer, this will give a little more stability. Then spread a light layer of sauce on the pasta and sprinkle one third of the sausage over the sauce, and repeat this process with one third of the mushrooms and zucchini. After that sprinkle a layer of mozzarella and some of the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano over the veggies. Then repeat these layers until all the ingredients have been used up or the pan is full, but be sure that there is a layer of pasta on top covered with sauce and sprinkled with mozzarella and Parmigiano. After that cover with foil.

Then place the lasagna on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until the lasagna is hot and bubbly, for about hour and fifteen minutes, removing the foil for the last fifteen minutes of cooking. Then let cool for twenty minutes before slicing.  

All purpose Marinara Sauce:
First coat a large saucepot with olive oil and add the pancetta. Then bring the pot to medium-high heat and cook the pancetta for for about 4-5 minutes. After that add the onions, season generously with salt, and stir to coat with the olive oil. Then cook the onions for about 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently; the onions should become very soft and aromatic but have no color. After that add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, with stirring frequently.

Then pass the tomatoes through a food mill. But be sure to pass all of the pulp through the holes leaving only the stems and the seeds, and be sure to scrape the pulp off of the bottom of the food mill. After that add the tomatoes to the pot and rinse out one of the empty tomato cans with water and add that water to the pot (about 2-3 cups). Then season generously with salt and taste it; tomatoes take a lot of salt. After that season in baby steps and taste every step of the way. Then cook the sauce for about 2-3 hours, with stirring occasionally and tasting frequently.

After that use the sauce right away on pasta or for any other tomato sauce need. Remember that this sauce can also be cooled and stored in the fridge for a few days or it freezes really well. Enjoy.

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