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Lasagna Joes

Serves 6

You will fall in love with this recipe! You can even try them slider-size (Rachael calls ’em Messy Giuseppis!) and serve them at your next party.


For the sloppy lasagna filling and topping:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 pounds ground beef or lean ground turkey breast or lean ground chicken
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white or red wine
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 1 cup passata or tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • A few leaves of basil, torn
  • 3/4 cup fresh cow or sheep’s milk ricotta

For the garlic rolls:

  • About 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 6 sesame semolina rolls or ciabatta rolls, split


  1. For the filling, heat the olive oil, two turns of the pan, in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and stir for a minute or two; add the beef and brown and crumble. Add the onion, garlic and chili pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute; add the wine and stir. Add the stock, tomato puree or passata and the milk; reduce the heat; stir in the basil. Simmer to thicken and combine the flavors, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. To serve, make garlic bread rolls for your sloppy beef: Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat. Melt the butter into the oil. When it foams, add the garlic and swirl for 1-2 minutes; remove from the heat. Stir the parsley into the butter. Lightly toast the rolls in a hot oven or under the broiler. Brush the rolls with garlic butter and sprinkle cheese over the rolls, return to the oven for 1 minute, or place under the broiler for 30 seconds or so to set the cheese.
  3. Serve the filling on rolls topped with a few tablespoons of ricotta.