Authentic Italian Lasagna Recipe

My mother-in-law grew up in Sardegna (Sardinia), Italy and makes the most delicious food! This recipe for Authentic Italian Lasagna comes directly from her family in Italy, and it’s one of our favorite dinners to make and share with others.

The bechamel sauce is the secret ingredient and really makes this lasagna recipe shine!

My mother-in-law grew up in Sardegna (Sardinia), Italy and makes the most delicious food! This recipe for Southern Italian Lasagna comes directly from her family in Italy, and it's one of our favorite dinners to make and share with others.
 

Does Authentic Lasagna Have Ricotta?

Authentic lasagna is made with bechamel (creamy, white, and smooth!) and red sauce. Which is what you’ll find in this Italian recipe. It’s amazing and makes the mozzarella cheese seem extra melty. 

That being said, ricotta is an acceptable alternative if you just don’t have the time to make a bechamel. But rest assured– if you can take the time, the extra effort of making homemade bechamel is totally worth it.

In case you were wondering: traditional American lasagna uses ricotta cheese and meat sauce as the filling for each layer, while classic Italian lasagna bolognese uses meat sauce and bechamel instead.

What is the difference between Lasagna and Lasagne al Forno?

In Italy, “lagana” refers to one sheet of pasta and “lasagne” refers to multiple sheets of pasta. Since this dish is made with multiple sheets of pasta, it’s called “Lasagne” or “Lasagne al Forno” in Italian.

But in other countries, the dish as a whole is typically referred to simply as “lasagna.”

My mother-in-law grew up in Sardegna (Sardinia), Italy and makes the most delicious food! This recipe for Authentic Italian Lasagna comes directly from her family in Italy, and it's one of our favorite dinners to make and share with others.

Main Ingredients & Supplies

Red Sauce

  • spicy Italian sausage (sometimes I use sweet or mild, because my kids don’t like spicy)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • onion
  • tomato sauce
  • tomato paste
  • fresh basil
  • baby carrots

Besciamella (White Sauce)

  • butter
  • flour
  • milk
  • nutmeg

Remaining

  • oven ready lasagna noodles
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper
My mother-in-law grew up in Sardegna (Sardinia), Italy and makes the most delicious food! This recipe for Southern Italian Lasagna comes directly from her family in Italy, and it's one of our favorite dinners to make and share with others.
 
My mother-in-law grew up in Sardegna (Sardinia), Italy and makes the most delicious food! This recipe for Southern Italian Lasagna comes directly from her family in Italy, and it's one of our favorite dinners to make and share with others.

One of the dishes from my wife’s Italian family that is tried and true and well known is their lasagna. It is my Mother-in-law’s recipe and without question is the best lasagna I’ve ever had. Put it to the test and try it out yourself!

-Keaton

 

My mother-in-law grew up in Sardegna (Sardinia), Italy and makes the most delicious food! This recipe for Southern Italian Lasagna comes directly from her family in Italy, and it's one of our favorite dinners to make and share with others.

Authentic Italian Lasagna

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

My mother-in-law grew up in Sardegna (Sardinia), Italy and makes the most delicious food! This recipe for Southern Italian Lasagna comes directly from her family in Italy, and it's one of our favorite dinners to make and share with others.

Ingredients

Red Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 package spicy Italian sausage (16 oz.)
  • 1 onion
  • 4 -5 cans tomato sauce (15 oz. cans)
  • 1 can tomato paste (4 oz. can
  • 6-8 leaves fresh basil
  • 3-4 baby carrots (grated using smallest fitting on grater)
  • salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

Besciamella (White) Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • a pinch or two of nutmeg

Remaining

  • oven ready lasagna noodles (9 oz.)
  • parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese

Instructions

Red Sauce

  1. Put a deep pot over medium heat
  2. Dice onion and if you have cased Italian sausages, remove from casing
  3. Add olive oil to pot and then add diced onion and ground sausage
  4. Cook until sausage is browned and then add tomato paste and mix well
  5. After letting pot mixture simmer for a few minutes add tomato sauce, carrot, and basil leaves
  6. Let simmer on low heat for AT LEAST 2 HOURS
  7. Add salt to taste, and then add sugar to balance the acidity

Besciamella (White) Sauce

  1. Put a sauce pan over medium heat 
  2. Melt the butter, add flour and stir together
  3. Add milk and the nutmeg stirring constantly until sauce as thickened nicely. DON’T ALLOW TO BOIL!
  4. Remove from heat once thickened and uniform

Remaining

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a 13 x 9 glass pan thinly layer the bottom of the pan with the red sauce
  3. Then layer the (layer A) noodles and then add another layer of red sauce on top of noodles followed by a layer of parmesan and mozzarella cheese
  4. (layer B) Add another layer of noodle, then layer the white sauce followed by a parmesan layer
  5. Repeat “layer A”
  6. Repeat “layer B”
  7. Repeat “layer A”
  8. This should leave you with 3 layer A’s and two layer B’s
  9. Cover pan with aluminum foil and place in oven for 30-40 minutes and cheese is melted on top
  10. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 1139mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 4gSugar: 13gProtein: 6g

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Ashton • Keaton • Mia

Administrator at Keat's Eats
Ashton and Keaton began blogging together in 2016 as a passion project. Both siblings are lovers of food, family gatherings, and entrepreneurial pursuits, which made starting a food blog together a no-brainer. Mia married into the family in 2019 and joined Keat’s Eats shortly afterwards, bringing her INCREDIBLE Italian Macarons with her.