thick Lasagna [or Lasagne?] recipe please

I recently found out my bf shares Garfield's LOVES of lasagna but he also says he's picky about it. He thinks a really good lasagna is a mile-high with tons of filling [not a little watery sauce between 3 or 4 sheets of pasta]. I've only made lasagna once and it was ages ago. Any guidance y'all can offer so I can impress the socks off of him will be greatly appreciated!

On a side note: A search of this site reveals there hasn't been a lasagna contest yet! I think this should be rectified soonish ;).

  • Posted by: Kt4
  • March 6, 2012


pierino March 7, 2013
Mrs. Larkin I have tasted the no-boil sheets and I simply don't like them. Expectations about lasagne in America and in Italy are entirely different. In truth, in restaurants in Italy probably 75% of the pasticutta served is commercial, but from good manufacturers. The no-boil stuff however would never pass muster. Despite the fact that they would like you to think otherwise all of the Barilla pasta in markets here is manufactured in the USA. For really good artisinal style pastas look for Rustichella D'Abruzzo, imported from Italy.
mrslarkin March 6, 2013
Homemade, traditional, pasta-from-scratch lasagne is what we ate on special occasions all the time. We'd fight over the top crispy layers of lasagna. Here's the recipe my mom taught me: If you want it real thick, just double the recipe, and increase the cooking time, until everything is done, cheese is melty, sauce is bubbling, and top starts to brown slightly.

I love the Barilla no-boil lasagne sheets. They are almost like homemade. Don't knock 'em till you try 'em.
pierino March 6, 2013
Per the tags, "lasagna, lasagne". Lasagna is singlular for one sheet or "leaf". Lasagne is the plural. One sheet on its own wouldn't make much of a meal.
ChefManuela March 6, 2013
Pierino is right, that is why preccoked lasagna sheets (aka no boil) did not stick here. Most of the commercial lasagna sheets are too thick to make a gourmet lasagna. That is why we do it ourselves
see our recipe page
pierino March 13, 2012
P.S. I really like your idea for a lasagne themed competition.
pierino March 13, 2012
In Italy (Emilia-Romagna specifically), the lasagne leaves are rolled out very thin and the sauce is not as generous as it is here in America. And yes there are many layers. Italians think that for a pasta dish, the pasta itself is the star and not a lot of glop piled on top of it. If you own pasta rollers the last setting, the thinnest, is reserved for lasagne.
Kt4 March 13, 2012
Hmm, that's very interesting. I think I might have to ask him more about what he considers a 'real' lasagne. I love the education I get on this site!
Kt4 March 13, 2012
Thank you all for your suggestions/ideas. I am reviewing yours posts today, shopping tomorrow, and will be making it the following day. I sure wish I could do homemade noodles but will leave that for another time. He loves mushrooms but I want to start with something more traditional so those recipes will definitely be saved for next time... perhaps even later this month. Wish me luck!
I'm a big fan of lasagna, although I haven't posted my meat lasagna yet. I'm equal opportunity as far as lasagna goes, although I don't like the traditional Italian American version with lots of ricotta. I've posted a roasted carrot and butternut squash version here on Food52, which is just delicious:

I also recently posted a mushroom lasagna on my blog:

Mario Batali recently did a hundred layer lasagna on The Chew, as well. The trick to a thick lasagna is just having a very deep pan and adding more layers! I prefer not using "no boil" noodles.
MTMitchell March 6, 2012
I know you said recipe....but I grew up learning how to make lasagne by watching my parents, so I only have what my friends refer to as "the story of lasagna."

Once upon a time, I basically get the best ingredients I can get...Ideally, fresh pasta, fresh ricotta, fresh mozzerella, homemade sauce. But let's be real -- that's the lasanga we make on Christmas Eve. I usually get whatever is best and realistic (I've even made a pretty decent version from some "convenience" products that I doctored up a little -- it was a lasagna craving emergency).

We tend to be pretty Italian-American traditional with it (and yes, I know it's very different than a traditional Italian lasagna, so it might not be what you're after). We put a little plain marinara on the bottom of the dish (9x13 and usually we serve the meat on the side to accomodate a few vegetarians but it's really good with meat sauce), put a layer of noodles in (there's a whole thread about no-boil noodles), a little more sauce and top that with dollops of ricotta (I'm thinking we do about a tablespoon or 1 and1/2 T, about two inches apart) and sprinkle a little parmesan and some grated mozzerella over the ricotta.

I should pause here and say that I don't usually doctor up the ricotta, and I know a lot of people do. I'm a creature of habit and this has always worked out well for me. I taste the ricotta and sometimes it needs a little salt (so I stir in some parmensan) or a little pepper. If the marinara isn't as flavorful as I like it, I might stir in some herbs -- fresh, dried, whatever I have.

So, another layer of noodles going to opposite way as the firstnoodles (kind of a cross-hatch) on top of the cheese, and repeat until you run out of stuff. I also alternate the ricotta placement so that the second layer has ricotta in the spaces from the first layer, if that makes sense. I like cheese in every bite! For us, at least, the last pasta layer is topped with sauce, a ton of mozzerella and some more parmesan. 350 or so covered with foil for 30-45 minutes (depends on the thickness), then uncovered for 15 minutes or so (depends on how brown you like the top).

Not sure if any of this is helpful...if it's a 9x13 pan, I usually use 8-10 ounces of mozzerella (plus some for snacking during assembly), 16 ounces of ricotta, a scant pound of lasagna noodles (depends on how well I layer it...!), a cup or so of grated parmesan, and probably 5 cups of sauce...? Depends on what kind of sauce, how it looks, etc. And another caveat -- my husband and I tend to like a fair amount of sauce, and the marinara that we make is pretty hearty.

I've also made this to rave reviews a few times --

And this was also fantastic --

fun! Now you're making me think that this might be a lasagna weekend in our house!
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 6, 2012
Barefoot Contessa has some good ones.
Hagerty March 6, 2012
Here is an epic lasagna recipe he would love.
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