Lasagna with meat sauce is the perfect quick and easy comfort food that your family and friends will devour! Tender pieces of noodle layered with hearty meat sauce, creamy ricotta, and mozzarella cheeses.
Sometimes for dinner, you just want a simple and comforting meal. When my husband came home from work and saw me building the lasagna layers, he was so happy!
Jason grew up with an amazing mom who loved to cook from scratch, and she created the most delicious and elaborate Italian suppers. So for Jason this lasagna with meat sauce recipe is one of those familiar meals that I like to surprise him with now and then.
I have a quick and flavorful tomato sauce recipe that I use for most of my Italian dishes, especially my spaghetti and meatballs recipe. For the tomato sauce, I use crushed ripe tomatoes imported from Italy, minced onion and fresh garlic. I have found that the Cento crushed tomatoes are much sweeter than other canned tomato brands, and provide the authentic flavor I am looking for.
The best part is that it only takes 30 minutes to make the sauce, and you can add other meat, sausages and vegetables to the tomato sauce to infuse a little extra flavor. I added ground beef to the fresh tomato sauce, which added a delicious flavor to the lasagna.
If you don’t have time to make sauce from scratch, no worries, a couple of jars of your favorite ready-made tomato sauce is always a quick option!
This lasagna with meat sauce has three layers. I build each layer by laying out four overlapping pieces of noodle, then evenly spreading the ricotta cheese, meat sauce, and mozzarella cheese.
I repeat this with two more layers, finish off with sauce and cheese, then bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. The result should be a tender, cheesy and flavorful lasagna casserole.
Jason enjoys a side of tomato sauce to top the lasagna or dip bread, so I always save him some extra sauce. It’s just the two of us (for now), so with 12 generous servings of lasagna with meat sauce per recipe, we had a lot of leftovers to eat! I cut them into individual pieces and wrapped them up and placed them in the freezer. We can have a quick and hearty meal anytime of the week!
What to know about tomato sauce
TIP #1: Have you ever wondered why it sometimes takes all day for you to enjoy your grandma’s famous spaghetti and meat sauce dish? It’s because the meat is simmered all day in the sauce, which provides two advantages. If you have time (around 3-4 hours), the slow, low heat simmering allows the flavors in the sauce to be concentrated as the sauce reduces. The natural acids in the tomatoes (malic and citric acid) helps to tenderize the meat gently over time, while the meat infuses flavor into the sauce. Yum!
TIP #2: Tomato sauces made with either fresh or canned vine ripened tomatoes give the best sweet, smooth and concentrated flavors. This is because the longer a tomato stays on the vine when ripening, the less citric acid it contains. So it’s best to pick the ripest tomatoes for the base of your sauce.