I grew up in a home where the kitchen was the heart of the household. Some of my most cherished memories are of cooking together with my mom, my aunts, and my grandmothers. For us, cooking was more than just preparing a meal—it was a ritual, a way to bond and share stories. Today, I’m thrilled to share a recipe that’s very close to my heart—my mom’s homemade lasagna.

Homemade Meatballs for Minestrone Soup

The Secret to the Perfect Lasagna is Mom’s Sunday Meat Gravy. But wait: What exactly is Sunday Gravy?

The star of this dish is definitely the sauce. My Mom’s Sunday Gravy recipe is what sets this lasagna apart. Although we always refer to it as Sunday meat gravy, it’s really a luxurious tomato sauce. My mom made hers by simmering meaty ribs in the best Italian canned tomatoes she could find. Like most inherited Italian recipes, this one makes a lot. But once it is made and cooled, the extra sauce can be stored in the freezer and saved for later.

Making lasagna with my mom was one of my favorite ways to spend time together. She would go all out making loads and loads of her Sunday Gravy recipe, and I uphold that tradition by making a double batch every time I make homemade lasagna. When my kids were growing up, they would help me add all those rich, hearty layers to the pan, so sharing a meal later was always so much sweeter.

What kind of tomatoes should you use for homemade Sunday gravy?

My favorite tomatoes for lasagna (because they were my mom’s) are Dei Fratelli brand tomatoes. You may have to make a trip to your local Italian grocer to find these, but boy, is it worth it! If you can’t find these, San Marzano tomatoes are my second choice. Love San Marzano? Check out my Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe with Homemade San Marzano Tomato Sauce, too.

How to Layer Lasagna

Add your Sunday gravy first, then top it with a layer of noodles. On top of the noodles, add your ricotta filling mixture, mozzarella cheeses, and pecorino Romano cheese. Add another layer of Sunday gravy and repeat. When you get close to the top of the pan, add a final layer of noodles and sauce, then sprinkle the whole thing generously with pecorino romano cheese. You can also sprinkle some shredded mozzarella on top if you love that gooey, crispy, cheesy layer on top. Yum!

A Dish That’s More Than Just Food

Take Your Time with the Sauce

The longer it simmers, the better it gets.

Fresh is Best

In true DiSomma style, we go all out with fresh, quality ingredients. It really does make a difference when you grate your own cheese right onto your freshly-plated dish.

Make it a Family Activity

Get your kiddos, friends, or loved ones to help you put your lasagna together. It’s a fun way to create memories!

Batch Cooking

I like to make a lot! What can I say? It freezes beautifully, so don’t be afraid to make extra.

Homemade Meatballs for Minestrone Soup
Yield: Makes one 9 X 13-inch pan | Serves 10 to 12
Mom’s Homemade Lasagna Recipe with Homemade Sunday Meat Gravy

Mom’s Homemade Lasagna Recipe with Homemade Sunday Meat Gravy

Prep time: 45 MinCook time: 50 MinTotal time: 1 H & 35 M
This homemade lasagna recipe is just like mom used to make… because it’s my mom’s recipe! Try your hand at an Italian-American classic, with my family’s homemade Sunday gravy recipe included.


  • 2 pounds ricotta cheese
  • 1 box (16 ounce) lasagna noodles, cooked al dente, drained but not rinsed
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ recipe of Mom’s Sunday Meat Gravy
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1½ cups grated pecorino Romano cheese


  1. Place the ricotta cheese in a strainer over a bowl. Let it rest for 30 minutes while the excess liquid drains from the cheese. Discard the liquid.
  2. While the ricotta is draining, cook the lasagna noodles al dente according to the box directions. After the water is drained from the noodles, you can lay them out on kitchen towels, making sure the noodles don’t touch, so they are ready when you assemble the lasagna.
  3. Place the drained ricotta cheese, minced garlic, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Using a silicone spatula, mix to combine.
  4. Spread a layer of the meat gravy on the bottom of the pan, then add a layer of lasagna noodles.
  5. Using a tablespoon, place dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture over the lasagna noodles, placing one dollop about every 2 inches. Sprinkle ⅓ of the mozzarella and pecorino Romano cheese on top of this layer.
  6. Add another layer of gravy over the top, top with noodles, and repeat step 5. Repeat this process one more time.
  7. Add a final layer of noodles and just enough meat gravy to cover the noodles, making sure to get all the way to the corners. Nobody likes those crunchy noodle ends!
  8. Sprinkle the remaining pecorino Romano evenly over the top of the lasagna. If you’d like, you can also add mozzarella for extra ooey-gooey cheesy goodness.
  9. Cover the whole dish loosely with foil. Bake in a 350-degree preheated oven for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes for a total baking time of 50 minutes. Let it rest 5 minutes before cutting into serving pieces. Mangiamo!
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @blameitonbiscotti on instagram and hashtag it #MomsHomemadeLasagna
February 04, 2024 — Mary DiSomma