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5 Secret Tricks to Making the Best Lasagna Ever

Our visual production director, Stephanie Marchese, knows a thing or two about lasagna. These are her Italian family secrets to perfecting the best lasagna recipe ever.

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Truthfully, I never met a lasagna I didn’t like. But I was blown away by staffer Stephanie Marchese’s homemade version. It’s the best lasagna recipe I’ve ever tasted, so I coaxed her into sharing her Italian family secrets with you.

“My brother, Joe, created this lasagna based on our mom’s recipe,” says Stephanie. “It’s a family favorite, thanks to the special ingredients that make it magnifico!” (If your family loves Italian food, here are 100 more recipes to try.)

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Parchment paper with ground and link Italian sausageTaste of Home

Use Two Kinds of Sausage

“The more sausage the better, so I use both bulk and link,” Stephanie says. “The bulk sausage adds depth and richness to the sauce, which our family calls sugu. I slice the links and add slices between the layers of noodles to provide a big burst of flavor.”

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A box of oven-ready Barilla lasagna noodles.Taste of Home

Use No-Cook Noodles

“I typically pick up my no-cook lasagna sheets at a nearby Italian market,” says Stephanie. “When I can’t make it there, I go for Barilla’s equally convenient variety.”

(No Italian market in your neighborhood? Find oven-ready noodles here.)

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A stack of provolone cheeseTaste of Home

Get Extra Cheesy

“We use four different cheeses in our recipe,” Stephanie says. “The provolone is our secret superstar; it adds richness and makes the ‘cheese’ flavor slightly more distinguishable.”

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A bunch of fresh basilTaste of Home

Brighten It up with Basil

“Using fresh basil in the homemade sauce really perks up its flavor profile,” she explains. “I use dried basil in the ricotta mixture for better spreading, but when it comes to making a bold sauce, fresh basil is the best!”

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White 13x9 baking panTaste of Home

Double It

“When I’m making this for my whole family, I double the recipe and use a huge disposable pan—it makes cleanup so easy!” Stephanie says. “But this recipe also freezes beautifully. Double it for two lasagnas in two 13×9-in. pans. Have one for dinner, then freeze the other for later.”

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A big pan of The Best Ever LasagnaTaste of Home

Now that you know all of her secrets, you have to try Stephanie’s family recipe. It really is the best lasagna ever. (You’re welcome.)