If you managed to find my recipe online, well done! There are so many recipes available on the internet, and no wonder because it’s always a delicious and classic meal. Lasagna is wonderfully versatile and anyone can add their favourite flavours to transform the dish.
My lasagna started in my mom’s kitchen and it was one of the first meals she ever taught me. That doesn’t sound strange, I know, until you find out that my parents were raised in Kenya and my family is originally from India. I half-expected her to add in some exotic Indian spices, but it remained a comforting Italian dish in our kitchen. My mom always starts her cooking by frying onion and garlic, and this was no different. When you recognize that aroma, you know you are in for something good!
I started making my mother’s recipe, but I’ve made my own changes since – including a creamy ricotta layer with Italian sausage, mushrooms and spinach. A few people have requested that I post this recipe, so have fun with it!
**This recipe is set for approx. 8 people, or 4 if you eat as much as I do!**
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small white onion
- 500g ground beef (I used extra lean for preference)
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ cup chopped green pepper
- ½ cup chopped red pepper
- ½ cup chopped zucchini
- 2 tins crushed tomatoes or 1 large tin
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese + extra for topping
- ¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 500g ground italian sausage
- 8-10 white button mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
- 1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
- lasagna noodles (I used oven ready noodles)
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- For meat sauce, heat the olive oil on medium high, add the chopped garlic and onion and cook until onions are soft. Add in the ground beef and cook until beef looks almost done, breaking up the beef as it cooks. Sprinkle in chilli flakes and Italian seasoning and cook for another 30 seconds before adding in chopped peppers and zucchini. Cook for 5 minutes to allow vegetables to soften. Stir in crushed tomatoes and water and simmer for 30 minutes. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
- For the Italian sausage and ricotta layer, saute the Italian sausage and chopped mushrooms until cooked through. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, parmesan and ¼ cup mozzarella cheese. Stir in cooked Italian sausage mixture into the ricotta cheese and set aside.
- To assemble, spread a small amount of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan then top with noodles by slightly layering them. Spread more sauce on top and sprinkle mozzarella cheese before layering on more noodles. Spread on the ricotta/sausage mixture and sprinkle with chopped spinach. Top with more noodles and final layer of meat sauce and cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
- Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly. I like to turn on the broiler for 2 minutes to get the cheese layer bubbling quickly. Using the boiler allows the cheese to get crispy on the edges, which is NEVER a bad thing.
- Let it stand for a few minutes before serving.