Royce Burke's Secret Lasagna

LISTEN UP, because Chef Royce Burke of Yarrow Cafe is dishing out all the secrets to his Secret Lasagna. We're not even playing — this is the lasagna is calling your name.


  • For the red sauce:
  • 1 #10 can (6 pounds) diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup garlic, rough chopped
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili arbol
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
  • For the lasagna:
  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchinis shredded, roasted with olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt, and drained of excess liquid
  • 8 ounces cottage cheese
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 16 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • For the meat:
  • 2-pound chuck roast
  • 1 packet Lipton Onion Soup mix
  • 1 (25 ounces) bottle cheap red wine, preferably Cabernet
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage


  1. Make the sauce.
  2. In a pot with oil, sweat onions and garlic followed by tomato paste and tomatoes. Stir well.
  3. Next, add vinegar, chili, thyme, oregano, and rosemary. Continue to stir together, and before taking off the heat, add basil.
  4. With an immersion blender, blend sauce together until consistency is a little chunky.
  5. Make the meat lasagna.
  6. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  7. Rub chuck roast with Lipton soup packet mix.
  8. In a small dutch oven or a covered 8 by 8-inch pan, place the seasoned roast. Next, pour in the full bottle of red wine.
  9. Place roast in the oven for 3 to 4 hours.
  10. In a sauté pan, cook Italian sausage until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Set aside in a small bowl, do not drain the fat.
  11. Next, boil lasagna noodles in 10 quarts of water with the kosher salt and olive oil. This will keep noodles from sticking. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until al dente.
  12. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together cottage cheese and ricotta.
  13. In a 9 by 13-inch pan, spread half a cup of tomato sauce on the bottom. Spread evenly. Then layer the noodles followed by the cheese mixture then zucchini and another layer of noodles.
  14. Next, break apart chuck roast and spread evenly. Then, add cooked sausage on top and spread evenly as well. Add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and half of remaining sauce. Next, layer the remaining noodles followed by the sauce. Place fresh mozzarella slices on top.
  15. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until cheese is golden brown. The cheese sauce mixture should have made an appearance at the edges!
  16. Remove from oven, allow to cool.
  17. Slice the lasagna and serve. Enjoy!