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This versatile lasagna makes great leftovers

Lasagna D’ Italiano next to a fork on a white plate
Photo by Shari Pennington

Any bold, red wine works with this recipe but the Cabernet Sauvignon at Keswick is a particular favorite pairing of Tassie’s with this wonderful Italian classic. The recipe appears Un-Wine’d, which airs Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. on VPM PBS.

Watch past seasons and current episodes on the PBS app or PBS website. Check the broadcast schedule for local listings. To discover more recipes seen on Un-Wine’d, please click here.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 lbs lean ground beef or meatloaf mix
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 2 t. dried oregano, divided
  • 2 t. dried basil, divided
  • 2 T. dried parsley, divided
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • ½ c. dry red wine, optional
  • 1-28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed, or 1-28 ounce can tomato puree

  • Water to thin if needed
  • 1 - 15 ounce container ricotta
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ½ red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 lbs. mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
  • 2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 boxes oven-ready lasagna noodles


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 10” X 14” lasagna pan with non-stick spray.

Step 2: On the cooktop, heat a small stock pot or large frypan over medium high heat.

Step 3: Crumble the ground beef and cook until the meat is beginning to change from red to brown then add the onion.

Step 4: Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until the onion begins to soften. Add 2/3 of the garlic, 1 t. oregano, 1 t. basil, and 1 T. parsley.

Step 5: Stir in the pepper flakes and salt. Continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes then stir in the tomato paste.

Step 6: Cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes to allow the sugars in the paste to begin to brown in the bottom of the pan. If using the wine, deglaze the pan with the wine then add the tomatoes.

Step 7: At this point I add about 1 cup to 2 cups of water, and more if my sauce seems really thick. Hold the sauce warm until ready to layer.

Step 8: In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, 2 c mozzarella, 1 c. Parmesan, the vegetables, and the remaining herbs. Stir well.

Step 9: Begin the layering in the baking dish. Start with about 1 c. sauce in the bottom. This helps cook the bottom layer of noodles and makes the lasagna easier to remove from the pan.

Step 10: Next layer in noodles. Shingle them slightly so the entire bottom of the pan is well covered.

Step 11: Top the first layer of noodles with the ricotta mixture. Spread it evenly then top again with noodles.

Step 12: Layer with 1/3 remaining sauce, 1/3 remaining mozzarella and another layer of noodles. Top with another 1/3 remaining sauce, and 1/3 remaining mozzarella.

Step 13: Top with the last layer of noodles, the rest of the sauce, the remaining mozzarella and the last of the Parmesan.

Step 14: Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. If the lasagna begins to brown too much, cover it lightly with aluminum foil for the remaining time.

Rest for 30 minutes before cutting. Serves 8.