"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating."--Luciano Pavarotti

Lasagne: James Beard's Lasagne Recipe

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This recipe for Lasagne: James Beard's Lasagne, by , is from Good Eats, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.




1 lb. ground beef or turkey (James makes meatballs, but this way is better)
1/2 lb. sausage (I use Jimmy Dean maple flavored; sometimes Italian sausage)
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes in puree
2 small onions, sliced
1/2 tsp. each salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup parsley
3 T. pesto sauce NOTE: If you want to make the pesto sauce from scratch, use the "Scotty's Pesto Salad" dressing recipe in this book. What I've been doing lately is just to buy good-quality pesto in the refrigerator section of the grocery store.
Pinch nutmeg
4 T. Butter
2 cans tomato sauce
1 jar store-bought "puttanesca" sauce or any other prepared marinara sauce you like (rest in peace, James)
2 T. Swanson secret ingredient, Del Monte sweet pickle juice


3 T. butter
4T. flour
2 cups Swanson's chicken broth
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1/2 ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream

8 oz. lasagne noodles
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1/2 lb. Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 lb. parmesan, grated

Brown meat, drain. Add butter and cook tomatoes, onions, salt, pepper, parsley, pesto, and tomato sauces over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Make tomato sauce and set aside. Then make béchamel sauce: Melt butter in heavy saucepan, stir in flour, cook for 2 minutes, until mixture is smooth and golden. Remove from heat while you add chicken broth, stirring constantly. Return pan to heat and stir with a spatula or whisk until thick. Simmer 3-4 minutes. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Add the heavy cream and keep mixture just below simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors. Bring 4 qts. water to boil. Cook lasagne, remove noodles with slotted spoon and lay on a dish towel. Spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce on bottom of 13x9 pan, then noodles, then 1/2 béchamel sauce. Alternate layers until done, ending with béchamel. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake at 450 for 15 mins.

***This is the recipe, but sometimes I double the béchamel or the tomato sauce or both. Especially if I want to make one to freeze.

Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
While some people were learning to cook with Julia, I was learning to cook with James, my hero. This is one of his best! Thank you, Susan, for requesting it. As you already know, we like the same food.

Editor’s Note: This is not a quick recipe to make. If Auntie Ann makes it for you, you know she REALLY loves you.




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