Anna Hezel’s debut cookbook, Lasagna, is a master class in everyone’s favorite pasta. This porchetta-spiced pork version is a labor of love — dedicate a weekend to making it.


Makes 8–12 servings
Classic & Simple Red Sauce:
  • 1 (28-oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 (28-oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 dried bay leaf

Porchetta-Spiced Pork
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lbs trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp coarse kosher salt (preferably Diamond Crystal)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 3 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 dried bay leaves

  • 2 lbs (about 4 cups) ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, more for garnish
  • 2 oz (1/2 cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb (4 cups) low-moisture mozzarella cheese (not fresh), shredded
  • 2 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 4 c. Classic & Simple Red Sauce, warm
  • 15 dry, curly lasagna noodles, cooked and cooled
Cookware Used
The Dutchess
6.75-Quart Cast-Iron Dutch Oven
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8.5-Inch Stainless Steel Sauce Pan
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The Whole Grain Family
3-Piece Wooden Utensil Set
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Make the red sauce:

  1. Using kitchen shears, cut the tomatoes in the can until finely chopped.
  2. Heat the olive oil in Saucy (or a large saucepan) over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring gently, until the paste darkens slightly, 1–2 minutes.
  5. Add the canned tomatoes and their juices, the sugar, oregano, bay leaf, and 2 cups water.
  6. Break up any large pieces of tomato with a spoon. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper and bring to a boil.
  7. Cover Saucy partially, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the sauce is thick and reduced to about 4 1/2 cups, 35–40 minutes.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf.

The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Make the porchetta-spiced pork:

  1. In The Dutchess (or any Dutch oven), heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes.
  2. Season the pork with the salt and black pepper and cook in batches, turning the pieces as needed, until they are browned and crusty all over, 8–10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the browned pork to a plate with a slotted spoon and brown the remaining meat, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot. Transfer to the plate when done.
  4. Meanwhile, place the chopped garlic, fennel seeds, and chopped rosemary on a cutting board and continue to chop them together until uniformly fine.
  5. Add the mixture, along with the red pepper flakes, to the pot used to cook the pork, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, 2–3 minutes.
  7. Return the meat to the pot along with any accumulated juices.
  8. Add the broth and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until the pork is very tender, about 1 hour.
  10. Discard the bay leaves and transfer the pork to a bowl. Spoon off as much fat from the surface as possible and boil the remaining liquid over medium-low heat until reduced to a few tablespoons, 5–6 minutes.
  11. Return the pork to the pot and cook, stirring, over low heat until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  12. Using a wooden spoon or two forks, coarsely shred the pork and transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Make the cheese mixture:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, parsley, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, and two thirds of the mozzarella (reserve the remaining cheese for the top) and season with the salt and black pepper.
  3. Add the egg and stir to combine.

Assemble the lasagna:

  1. Spread 1/2 cup of the red sauce in the bottom of the same Dutchess.
  2. Arrange the noodles in a single layer, overlapping slightly, in the dish.
  3. Top with 1/2 cup of the red sauce.
  4. Spoon half of the ricotta mixture on top, spreading to an even layer.
  5. Top with half of the shredded pork.
  6. Arrange more noodles on top, followed by another 1/2 cup red sauce, the remaining ricotta mixture, and the remaining pork.
  7. Arrange the remaining noodles on top, pressing to compact slightly, and spread with 1 1/2 cups red sauce.

Bake the lasagna:

  1. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan on top and bake until the top is browned and crusty around the edges and bubbling, about 45 minutes.
  2. Let the lasagna rest for 20 minutes before cutting into squares.
  3. Garnish with parsley and serve the remaining red sauce on the side.

Photos by Noah Fecks


Reprinted with permission from Lasagna: A Baked Pasta Cookbook by Anna Hezel and the Editors of TASTE, copyright © 2019. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

 Photos by Noah Fecks

Photos by Noah Fecks.