Lasagna “Semplice”

This delicious lasagna is not only inspired by my mother’s recipe, it is also incredibly simple and uses no-boil lasagna noodles. It is much lighter than many lasagna dishes that you find here in America. There is no meat, and I use cream instead of bechamel. You can also make this lasagna with bolognese sauce if you prefer to have a little protein.

Servings: 8


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Two 28-ounce cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • Kosher Salt
  • 2 large sprigs fresh basil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 15 sheets no-boil lasagna noodles (about one 9-ounce box)
  • 4 cups freshly grated low-moisture mozzarella (about 1 pound)
  • 2 ½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano


  1. For the sauce, heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, and add the olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add the garlic, and let sizzle until just golden, about 1 minute.  Add the crushed tomatoes, mash with a potato masher and season with salt.
  2. Simmer until flavorful and slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.  Add the basil leaves in the last 2-3 minutes while the sauce cooks. Discard the garlic cloves and the basil sprigs. 
  3. Add the creamand simmer until the sauce comes together, 3-4 minutes.  Season again with salt to taste.  You should have 6 to 7 cups of sauce.
  4. To assemble the lasagna, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spread about a cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13 inch baking dish. 
  5. Cover the sauce with three noodles (there will be extra space around the noodles, which is fine; they will expand as they absorb the sauce). 
  6. Spread another cup of sauce over the noodles, then sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella and ½ cup of the grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano.  Top with another layer of noodles. 
  7. Continue with sauce, mozzarella, Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, layering in the same manner, until you have five or six layers of noodles. Make sure you top the final with sauce and grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano (not the mozzarella).
  8. Cook the lasagna for approximately 30 minutes until all of the sauce is absorbed, and the lasagna is firm. If the lasagna needs a little extra color, turn the oven up to 375 F and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until you achieve the desired color.
  9. Let the lasagna rest out of the oven for at least 30 minutes before serving.