Lasagna is one of the most well-known and loved of the Italian dishes. The dish consists chiefly of a tomato or meat sauce, mozzarella and ricotta cheeses, and lasagna noodles. It is one of the easiest classic casseroles to prepare and rarely fails to impress. This makes lasagna an essential part of any cook’s culinary repertoire.
Step One: Getting Started
Firstly, you will need a few ingredients:
• A large jar of Tomato Sauce, or you can easily make your own with:
• Two 28oz cans Diced or Crushed Tomatoes and 2tbsp of Concentrated Tomato Paste
• One Pound of Ground Beef
• 2-4 Cloves of Garlic
• One Large Onion
• Dried Oregano
• Crushed Red Pepper
• Black Pepper
• A Large Saucepan
• Approximately 1lb of Lasagna Noodles
• 1lb of Mozzarella Cheese
• 1/2lb Parmesan Cheese
• 1lb of Ricotta Cheese
• A Baking Dish measuring around 14×10 Inches
• A Large Pot
Step Two: Making the Sauce (Skip if you have Store Bought Sauce)
Making your own sauce may not seem to be necessary more making s basic lasagna. However, a few minutes work will make the difference between an average, cookie-cutter lasagna and your own unique creation.
1. Dice the Onion and Mince the Garlic
The onion only needs to be coarsely diced and the garlic should be thoroughly minced. Take into account the preferences of the people you are cooking for when selecting a quantity; don’t overdo it.
2. Brown the Beef
Put the beef into the saucepan, set the heat to medium and allow it to brown. Drain off all put a couple of table spoons of the fat when finished.
3. Mix it Up
Add the onion, garlic, and preferred amount of red pepper to the beef. Cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stir frequently. Next add a pinch or two of oregano and all of the tomato paste.
4. Add the Tomatoes
Add the diced and crushed tomatoes to the mix and bring the mixture to a boil. When the sauce has boiled, lower heat and allow it to simmer for 45 minutes. After the 45 minutes are up perform a taste test and add any seasonings you like.
Step Three: Prepare the Noodles and Construct the Lasagna
1. The Noodles
Remove the noodles from the package and read the directions specific for your chosen brand. Subtract roughly 1/8th of the cooking time to ensure that your noodles will not get overly soft or overcooked while inside the lasagna.
2. Lasagna Construction
Assembling lasagna is a process that takes place I layers and begins with covering the bottom of the baking dish with a thin layer of sauce. Next cover the sauce with a slightly overlapping layer of noodles which is followed by a layer that consists of ¼ of the total quantity of mozzarella, parmesan, and ricotta cheeses. Begin with the ricotta, then apply the mozzarella and finish with the parmesan. This process is repeated three times.
The fourth and last layer consists of only sauce and cheese applied in this order:
-Thin Layer of Sauce
-Thin Layer of Sauce
Step Four: Bake and Serve
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put the lasagna in the oven and allow to cook for 40 minutes. Allow the dish to cool for 15 minutes after removal.
2. Serve and Enjoy