Gooey Three Cheese Lasagna

by Andie Mitchell on May 3, 2011

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I am a love bug.

Love buggie.

Daniel cringes at the amount of affection I’d like to pour over him. He gets soggy quickly.

[Yet again] I blame my mother.

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She loved me too much.

Kissed me on the lips and nose one too many times.

Told me the sun rose and set on my beeehind. (Ma, it does, doesn’t it?)

And now, I do the same with the ones I love.

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In fact, just two days ago I was out for drinks and appetizers with my dearest friends and their 9 month old baby girl, and a very unfortunate series of events ensued:

  1. I saw the line between giggling and cooing with a cute baby and pressing your lips to their chubby cheeks, nose, ears, legs, toes, and every-other-soft-and-pudgy-flesh-toned-limb.
  2. I crossed said line.
  3. I did not look back.
  4. *Somewhere between nibbling her cankles and telling her parents that “I bet she has the cutest bum bum in the world” they lost their appetite and I continued inhaling their infant’s silky curls.

    *Based on a true story.

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So you’ll have to understand that when Daniel’s sister, Rachel, comes to visit us in Seattle for the week, as she is now, I retain the rights to sweet talk her and tell her she’s wonderful and beautiful and that I love her. At least seven(ty-two) times a day. And Daniel, shy guy that he is, must refrain from leaving me.

Rachel should expect that in the forthcoming five days, I will:

  1. Ask her if she’s hungry no less than 4 times (per hour).
  2. Ask her if she’s parched and if she needs a beverage no more than 8 times (per day).
  3. Tell Daniel to be nicer to his ‘sissy’ no less than 3 times (before he indeed leaves me).
  4. Fluff her pillows no less than twice.
  5. Ask her if she wants to paint nails no less than two times.
  6. Try to be quiet as a [human-sized] mouse in the wee hours of the morning when I need (NEED, I say!) breakfast and several (dozen) cups of coffee.
  7. Goad her into trying no less than five of my favorite Seattle eateries. (Rachel, pack an extra stomach).
  8. *Force feed her lasagna.

*Say a Hail Mary for my someday children, will you?

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Note of possible relevance: Rachel is two years Daniel and my senior.

*I set no age limit on swaddling.

*Say one more Hail Mary for my someday children.

……………….

This is the gooey-est, creamiest, and most classic version of lasagna I can muster. It’s all in the sauce. Repeat: lasagna is divine in, and only in, it’s perfectly spiced sauce. Because the recipe is fairly standard. There’s little nuance in a pasta, cheese, and marinara casserole of this caliber. What sets the excellent apart from the good is a sweet, thick, and olive oiled sauce with heady notes of garlic and caramelized onion.

Listen, I get it. You think Bertolli, Prego, maybe even Classico, make a fairly fantastic jar. You’re thinking it’s not worth the trouble to make a pot from crushed tomatoes, dried herbs, sweet onion, and a head of garlic. Why go to the trouble?

Hear me: it’s worth it. Once you make this sauce, the one created by the man I love most in the world, my stepdad, PJ, you won’t be able to love any jarred red quite as much. It will change your life. It’s sweeter than most, and as odd as this may sound, it is part of who I am. I’ve eaten it all my life and if I were to say my favorite meal of all time, I’d say *peanut butter and fluff, and then…a meal that includes this rich red tomato sauce.

*Don’t question me.

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……………

Gooey Three Cheese Lasagna

serves 6

4 cups of this homemade marinara sauce

12 sheets no-boil lasagna noodles

16 oz part skim ricotta cheese

1 tablespoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried basil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup parmesan cheese

4 cups mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 13×9” oven-safe baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.

Spread 1 cup marinara sauce evenly across the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay 3 sheets lasagna noodles, side by side, slightly overlapping. Do not worry if the noodles do not extend to the edges; they will expand as they cook. Top the noodles with 1/3 of the ricotta-parmesan mixture, followed by 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Spread 1 cup marinara sauce over the mozzarella. Lay another 3 sheets of lasagna noodles, followed by another third of the ricotta, then another 1/3 of the mozzarella. Spread another cup of marinara sauce, then the noodles, the remaining, ricotta, and another cup of mozzarella. Finish by laying the final 3 sheets of noodles, followed by the last cup of sauce and the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and beginning to brown. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Riss May 3, 2011 at 12:47 am

Umm after Daniel’s sister leaves, may I visit next??

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Patricia May 3, 2011 at 2:39 am

I just got caught up on your last few posts. And I’m more glad than ever to have found your blog. It was the very first time I opened the ‘freshly pressed’ page and you were there.
Rachel and Daniel are very very lucky!

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Helena May 3, 2011 at 2:51 am

I would not mind AT ALL if you would pamper me :D But I can totally understand you, I always do the same with the people I love.

I’m not the biggest fan of cheese, but this lasagna is vegetarian, which is awesome :D Really need to find people who are willing to eat what I cook :D

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Cait @ Beyond Bananas May 3, 2011 at 2:53 am

Thanks for linking to the marinara sauce – I really need to start making my own!

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Johnny May 3, 2011 at 2:53 am

Lasagna has to be my favorite comfort food of all time. But it’s not COMFORT food unless you add the ooey gooey love that completes it!

You are without a doubt something else! ANY parent, boyfriend, (should I say..husband!), child, nephew, niece, etc., etc. would be VERY lucky to have you gushing over them! :)

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Frieda May 3, 2011 at 3:03 am

Our Family Tomato sauce recipe is exactly the same except that we also add 2 bay leafs :D
So i totally believe that this is a heavenly dish :)

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Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 3, 2011 at 3:33 am

This lasagna looks pretty perfect. Definitely a great way to show some love!

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 3, 2011 at 4:23 am

Homemade marinara sauce is so worth it. I swaer I will never eat jarred again after making my own.

And I feel sorry for my someday children too. I’m a lover.

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Stephanie @cookinfanatic May 3, 2011 at 4:45 am

So can I sign up for a visit, sounds just about like what I need right now! ;) This lasagna sounds delicious, a fresh homemade sauce beats a jar anyday and is totally worth the extra effort, agreed! Have a wonderful Tuesday :)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 3, 2011 at 5:09 am

Something is telling me that Rachel will be very well fed and very well looked after when she comes to visit!

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Jen @ keepitsimplefoods May 3, 2011 at 5:23 am

This lasagna sounds so simple and delicious and, well…a lot like mine! :) Although I like to thin out the ricotta with a bit of cottage cheese for spreading. Love those no boil noodles! They save so much time! xoxo

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Katie Photiadis May 3, 2011 at 5:28 am

Andrea, that lasagne looks divine! I don’t know how you do it, but you make me crave lasagne at 8: 30am–before I’ve even finished my cup of coffee.

I’m actually meeting my best friend from high school and her new daughter this weekend and I can’t wait to see the baby (and smother her with attention, of course). I will think of you as I kiss her cankles ;)

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Kerry May 3, 2011 at 5:48 am

Oh myyyy I love lasagna. My hubby’s mom made 2 batches for our rehersal dinner and I had to refrain from eating 1 of the batches in order to still fit in my dress the next day. But it was soooo tempting. This looks great!

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Melissa May 3, 2011 at 6:06 am

Homemade marinara is where it’s at! It never ceases to amaze me how much better it tastes than jarred.

Have a great time with your little family this week! :D

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Sarah@The Flying ONION May 3, 2011 at 6:27 am

This lasagna has me drooling. It reminds me (a lot) of my mom’s homemade lasagna, which is full to the brim with the most delightful sauce and cheesy goodness. I’m saving this recipe to my favorites! :D

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Bee May 3, 2011 at 6:27 am

Try adding thin slices of zuccini, summer squash, and mushrooms. I love love veggies in my lasanga, it helps to make it feel a little less dense and heavy in my opinion. It’s also a dish I keep exclusively meatless.

And you’re right, that sauce is divine. I plan on attempting a version with fresh tomatoes once my parents’ garden starts bearing fruits :)

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Claire @ Live and Love to Eat May 3, 2011 at 6:28 am

I hear you on the homemade sauce – I’m a total sauce-snob. The only excuse for jarred sauce is for a quick pizza, and that’s only in an emergency situation.

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Nelly Rodriguez May 3, 2011 at 6:41 am

oh dear god, looking through these pictures was torturous! that looks divine!

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Manda May 3, 2011 at 6:44 am

Buying a giant ceramic lasagna pan was the best $20 I’ve ever spent. My lasagna always spilled over the top of ever 9×13 pan I tried, but the pan I have now (bought from Target) is perfect!

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Clarissa @ Sober and the City May 3, 2011 at 7:07 am

Oh my goodness! So yummy! I’m an awful host. I last like 12 hours before I’m ready for the person to leave. It’s been getting easier over the years, I just don’t like having to entertain someone even though I can talk about myself for hours haha. It’s just awkward. I only like hosting my closest friends/family!

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Shanna, Like Banana May 3, 2011 at 7:26 am

Would you believe I’ve never made lasagna myself? I really should since it’s pretty fantastic.

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brandi May 3, 2011 at 7:27 am

if that’s the typical routine, I’ll come visit, too! :)

Homemade lasagna cannot be beat.

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Caitlin May 3, 2011 at 7:42 am

Hi my name is Caitlin and I just fell a little bit more in love with you.

And, yes, a fall wedding still sounds perfect.

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Rachel @ The Avid Appetite May 3, 2011 at 8:06 am

Andrea this looks unbelievable! Thank you for sharing it with us. There is nothing quite like homemade Italian food…it is the epitome of comfort and love :) I’ll bet Daniel’s sister just fell in love with you too!

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Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen May 3, 2011 at 8:45 am

We made our own sauce once, and swore we’d NEVER eat jarred again. Seriously amazing stuff, homemade marinara.

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Gina May 3, 2011 at 9:47 am

LOVE homemade sauce…Mickey is the tomato sauce master in our household (love him):) When his dad came to visit us last fall, we basically planned the whole weekend by which restaurant we were going to take him to next. Everytime we ventured to a new neighborhood, we would point out which place had the best this or that. Finally he said…”Um, is all you two do is eat?” Busted!

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Jesse May 3, 2011 at 10:17 am

lasanga is truly the ultimate comfort food. this looks to have the perfect sauce to cheese ratio. yummy.

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Leah @ Why Deprive? May 3, 2011 at 10:35 am

Staying at your house sounds like it would be wonderful.

And that lasagna, wow. Thats all.

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Nicole May 3, 2011 at 10:48 am

Ooooh, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and will be moving to Seattle next month! I’d give just about anything to hear what your fave eateries are, in, say, a blog post format. Pretty please?

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Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy May 3, 2011 at 11:28 am

Recipes like this are why every time I read the title of your blog I think (outloud) “pick me! pick me!”

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Alexa @ Simple Eats May 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I love making homemade sauce, I just can’t even buy jarred because I wasn’t brought up that way! But if you like it better and don’t have the time, more power to ya. P.S. Can I stay with you? I could totally pack an extra one or two stomachs!

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Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) May 3, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I feel like when I’m reading your blog…. a friend is talking to me. You’re so wonderful.

I think smothering people with love is where it’s at. :)

I wish you lived in Alberta, Canada so we could be friends… you’re awesome!

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Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm

You can feed me anytime! Can I move in with you guys?! Haha!

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Megan@Dirty Dishes Daily May 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Cheesy is such a great movie night comfort food. Give me a slice of garlic bread and I’m a happy camper.

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Annie May 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Ooooooh yay, lasagna. That looks so good. I might have to give your recipe a try sometime, just minus the ricotta cheese. My husband dislikes it. I’ve tried sneaking it in, and he always knows.

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Lu @ A Mix of it All May 3, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Can I visit? I don’t mind being smothered if I get lasagna.

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Patricia May 3, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I am making this for my son’s 27th birthday dinner tonight. Can’t wait to try this sauce!

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Sam May 3, 2011 at 9:32 pm

and it’s vegetarian! Hooray!

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MelissaNibbles May 4, 2011 at 1:36 am

Wow, you sound kind of annoying. Maybe I won’t come visit you in Seattle after all. Joking of course! You’re a sweetheart :)

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Amateur Cook July 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Yes I can definitely stay for dinner if you make this for me.

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Sarah November 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm

This is my favorite lasagna recipe ever… its baking in the oven right now! :)

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Ashley December 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm

I just stumbled upon your website, and I’m in love! This recipe looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it!

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Sarah May 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Hi!!

Wow- this recipe looks amazing!!! I’m also a huge fan of make-your-own sauces. With just a little extra time, they’re so worth it!

I have one question- you’ve mentioned in previous posts that your recipes are designed to be 400-500 calories per serving. This one looked so lush, I had to double-check. I popped it into CalorieCount and it came up with 1,152 calories per serving. Yikes!! Was your serving number a typo, or are you just forgoing your usual calorie rule?

Thank you!!!

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Rachel B July 29, 2012 at 9:05 am

I’m excited to try your vegetarian recipes – I love your site and the stories you tell with your recipes.

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Kabrina October 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I also figured up the calories on this ( with the sauce) and got 586 for 1/6 of a 9×13 pan.

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Karen October 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Good lord, I just made your marinara sauce and lasagna and it was amazing!! Will definitely use your marinara sauce for EVERYTHING!!!

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Michelle November 6, 2012 at 7:41 pm

The sauce recipe was a hit in my house! I used half the onion called for and made up the difference with roasted garlic. The lasagna turned out great! Thank you for helping me learn some skills in the kitchen. :-)

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Staci Lieferman February 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm

what is the calorie count, fat, protein and carbs of this one?

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Janay Taylor April 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm

How many calories is this per serving?

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Michelle Mercier May 26, 2013 at 8:29 pm

I am so excited to have found your website. I am going to try this recipe for dinner this week for my boyfriends birthday. My parents and brother and fiance are coming over. quick question how many people will this feed?

thanks. p.s. good for you for losing all that weight, that takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
also what are no boil lasagna noodles? never heard of this, I hope I can find them. or does that mean need to make from scratch?

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Andie Mitchell May 27, 2013 at 10:16 am

Thanks so much Michelle!

No boil lasagna noodles are AMAZING–they do not require boiling before being layered into your lasagna (as traditional noodles do). Use them right away as you would your cooked noodles (layer your sauce, your sheets of noodles, your cheeses, etc), then bake the lasagna. Done. They’re so helpful. I buy Barilla most often. Here’s a link to them on Amazon so you can see what the packaging looks like: http://www.amazon.com/Barilla-Flat-Egg-Lasagna/dp/B000G0EM4Y/ref=sr_1_13?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1369663737&sr=1-13&keywords=no+boil+lasagna+noodles I’ve found them in nearly every major grocery store, so you shouldn’t have trouble locating them!

Andie

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Bill January 20, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Just FYI, the ingredients call for 4 cups of marina but the directions use 5 cups…plan accordingly.

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Michelle May 28, 2014 at 5:23 pm

how do you get the ricotta to spread so evenly?
the noodles always move

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DJ June 17, 2014 at 3:26 pm

This recipe looks great!!! Can you make this night before and bake the next day?

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