Of all the comfort foods I can think of, lasagna is perhaps at the top of my list. It’s decadent layers of rich flavors and textures, the smell of tomato sauce, garlic and Italian sausage, and the cheese bubbling golden brown as it comes out of the oven all conjure up memories reminiscent of Sunday dinner at grandma’s house. My two sisters and I used to pile in the backseat of our dad’s old Chevy pickup truck and drive down the dirt road to our grandma’s house, just over a mile of rolling hills, past old red barns and fields full of dairy cows and hay bales. We’d jump out of the truck and play outside while mom and dad went in to visit and help get dinner on the table. When they’d finally call us in to eat, we would race to the house, fully aware that something delicious would be waiting for us. Grandma made a lot of comfort food: roast with creamy mashed potatoes, homemade macaroni and cheese with greens, and chili with cornbread. Still, my absolute favorite dinner that she made was her famous lasagna, always served piping hot with a side of buttery garlic toast and Caesar salad. I can still remember opening the door from outside that led straight into the dining area, knowing by the smell what dinner would be. As I got older, and the only one of my sisters with an inclination for the kitchen, I started coming in to help cook rather than playing hide-and-seek in the woods behind her house. She taught me the art of cooking pasta to perfection; how it’s important to cook lasagna noodles al dente so that when it bakes, the noodles won’t turn to mush. She taught me how to use fresh garlic instead of the powered stuff from the spice cabinet. I learned to sauté onions and garlic in olive oil and how to brown sausage and ground beef. My favorite part was putting the lasagna together. I loved the methodical process of layering: sauce, noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, repeat. Now I’m grown with three daughters of my own, two thousand miles away from my grandma instead of a mile down the dirt road. I perfected the recipe many years ago with her by my side, and to this day it’s one of my favorite things to make. The smell as it starts to bake takes me right back to my childhood, back to grandma’s kitchen where I first began to learn. My kids love this lasagna, and it’s a go to when I have company over. I’ve made it for several of my friends when they got home from the hospital with a new baby in tow, and I’ll make one and throw it in the freezer for my husband to bake if I’m going out of town for a few days. This is my absolute favorite lasagna, and I’m positive you’re going to love it too! In fact, I’m so sure you’ll like it, I recommend making two: one to eat and one to freeze or give away to a friend who could use a night off cooking. A note about cooking lasagna, or anything else that takes a bit of time to prepare: It is my humble opinion that you need to enjoy the process. I highly recommend turning on your favorite music, pouring a glass of something delicious and getting out your best cutting board and sharp knife. Get in the right mood, then put on your apron, roll up your sleeves, and prepare to make magic in the kitchen! I hope you fall in love with grandma’s lasagna as much as I have!