Start by cooking your tomato sauce. While that's on the stove, you can grate your Parmesan, Romano and mozzarella. (I use my blender.) Set bowls of each cheese aside. Season the ricotta with ⅛ teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and set that aside as well. (If your sauce needs a while to cook, you might want to refrigerate your cheeses in the meantime.)
If you are using lasagna noodles that need to be boiled, fill a tall pot ⅔ full with salted water and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the water. Set it on the stove, covered, over high heat. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the lasagna noodles and stir them periodically as you cook them for just under half the time listed on the package directions. (It will take 4-6 minutes, depending on the brand you use.)
Drain the lasagna noodles in a colander in the sink and carefully (they will be hot) hang them over the edges of your pasta pot to dry and cool. (You may need to have some hanging on the colander too.)
Prepare your meat mixture in a medium bowl, adding all the meat ingredients and gently mixing with your hands until combined. Wash your hands well and heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the meat mixture to the skillet and brown it over medium-high heat, stirring as needed, until there is no pink remaining. Drain any liquid in a fine-mesh strainer in the sink.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To assemble the lasagna, set out your bowls of ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan near your meat, pasta, and sauce. Cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan with a couple ladles of sauce. Add a layer of lasagna noodles the long way, cutting any extra pieces needed to fill in gaps. (I use kitchen scissors.)
On each row, add a heaping tablespoon of ricotta, spreading it in a thin layer on each strip of pasta. Sprinkle on ⅓ of the meat over the ricotta, dispersing it as evenly as you can. Next, sprinkle on ⅓ of the mozzarella. Add a generous handful of Parmesan on top of the mozzarella. (Keep in mind that you will end up with extra Parmesan to serve at the table, so you don't need to put all of the Parmesan inside the lasagna.)
Add a couple more ladles of sauce. For the second layer, you will change the direction of the lasagna noodles, placing them the short way, cutting them in half as needed. Repeat with the ricotta, meat, mozzarella and Parmesan.
For the third layer, add the sauce and then place the noodles the long way. Continue building your layer as before.
For the top, add a layer of lasagna noodles the short way, sprinkle on some Parmesan, and ladle on some sauce. Cover the lasagna with foil that has been greased with non-stick spray.
Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, and check to see if it is heated through. If so, let the lasagna rest for 10 minutes before cutting it.
Serve the lasagna with extra sauce ladled on top and extra Parmesan at the table. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for four days, or freeze.
Note that if you are making your own sauce, marinara is quicker than making a meat sauce. The prep time in the recipe includes making marinara.
You can prep and assemble the lasagna the day before, store it covered in the refrigerator, and bake it the following day. If so, you should leave the lasagna out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking.
Another option is to make your sauce and grate your cheeses the day before, and then finish everything the following day.
You can freeze the assembled lasagna before baking it. Just make sure the meat layer is cooled off first. Cover the lasagna well with heavy foil, then thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
You can freeze the lasagna after it's baked, as long as you let it cool to room temperature first.
You can reheat individual slices of lasagna in the microwave, covered loosely with wax paper. To reheat a pan of lasagna, cover it with greased foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.