Part II: Peter’s Lasagna

Okay, now that it’s been established that I’m not in serious trouble for posting my slightly-nicer-than-average, Harry Potter-spoiling brother-in-law’s authentic lasagna recipe, I can go easy on the sucking up. I have made a few changes out of sheer convenience and I’m hoping if he can forgive his own wife for leaving out the Béchamel sauce altogether, he can forgive me for mixing stuff together. It’s all going to the same place, right? RIGHT?

Peter’s Genuine Italian Lasagna

1 recipe pasta and lasagna sauce
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
8 oz. shredded mozzarella, divided
4 oz. shredded fresh Parmesan
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 16-oz. tub Ricotta
Béchamel Sauce

1/4 c. (1/2 stick) real butter, NO SUBSTITUTES
1/4. c. white flour
2 1/2 c. milk
Preheat oven to 350.
To prepare Béchamel sauce, melt butter over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. When melted, whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Heat until bubbly and thickened to a medium consistency that that looks like this on a spoon:
Now…this is where I start tinkering with his recipe. And it was ONLY tinkering out of an attempt to make things easier and less messy, not that I thought I could make things better. Traditionally, when you make a lasagna with Béchamel sauce, you have a layer of red sauce and then a layer of Béchamel on top. But for me, I could never get the proportions of red sauce to white sauce right. So one day, I just mixed the two. Maybe I’m a blasphemer, but I do it all for the sake of lasagna-eaters everywhere who want to eat it more than once every five years. So if you feel like taking a walk on the wild side, mix the Béchamel in with the red sauce. What are you, chicken? Come on, you know you want to…

After you’ve made (and mixed) the Béchamel, combine 6 oz. mozzarella (about 1 3/4 c.), ricotta, Parmesan, and the beaten egg. At this point, I like to set up a little lasagna-making station:

Using a ladle that measures 1/2 c. (or a 1/2 c. measuring cup), spread 1 c. of sauce onto the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Add 3 noodles. Spread a layer of the cheese mixture. Spread 1 1/2 c. sauce and repeat so you have 4 layers of noodles. You should end with a layer of sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella (and some extra Parmesan if you have some left over).

Cover tightly with foil and bake about 50 minutes.

Remove from oven and remove foil. It will probably look a little runny. Don’t be scared–you still need to let it stand about 15-20 minutes. During that time, it will thicken up nicely and it won’t even be that oozy when you cut it.

This serves 12. And wanna know what’s awesome? If you use super lean ground beef, it has around 250 calories and 5 Weight Watcher points! Seriously, the TASTIEST, most filling 5 points you’ll ever have in your life.


  1. Zanoh and Co–Yep, you could definitely make this ahead and refrigerate it (or freeze it, although I have absolutely NO idea how long you would have to bake it from frozen). If you're cooking it straight from the fridge, start by adding an additional 15-20 minutes to the cooking time and then go from there if you need to.

    Hope that helps!

  2. can you make this ahead and then cook it later? if so, how long would you cook it for? thanks! i have all the stuff to make this but with 4 kids i like to get stuff done while they are at school and just pop it in the oven later 🙂 love your blog.

  3. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I made this last night for my boyfriend and he loved it! I thought it was really delicious and like the other comments, it was still a little runny, so next time I will mix the red and white together. Overall, I was thrilled with the results.

  4. Thanks for the tip. I will mix it in next time. I actually gave this recipe to a vegetarian friend, because I thought it was so nice with the veggies in it. She'll have to add some seasonings, but I think it's a great recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I made this for Father's Day. I used whole wheat noodles and didn't pre-cook them. I never have pre-cooked my noodles and they are always perfect. There is enough sauce to soften the noodles as they cook. And, the Italian sausage added nice seasonings to the sauce. I also kept my Bachemal separate from the sauce and layred 1/3 of it in the various layers.

    The one problem I did have, though, was that the lasagna remained very liquidy. Some of the liquid on top seemed to get absorbed as the lasagna sat, but when I cut into it, there was a lot of liquid in the pain. Overall, a great tasting recipe.

  6. I am making it this tomorrow night. I have a really yummy recipe, but I am going to give this a try. But I HATE oven ready lasagna noodles. I know people love them, but they are not as good. I know one more pot, but you are already making a big mess! Anyways, I love your blog!

  7. Made this last night for dinner, we loved it. It was my husbands b-day and he requested lasagna and gave permission to try a new recipe. The taste was awesome but even after sitting for 20 minutes post cooking it was still on the runny side. It didn’t hold it’s shape like your beautiful picture. Do you think if I drained the cans of diced tomatoes it would be better or would it lose too much flavor doing that? I double check the recipe so I don’t think I did anything wrong. We loved it, this is for sure our new lasagna recipe, especially with all the healthy vegetables in it!

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