How to Make LasagnaIf you love Italian food, you must learn how to make lasagna. The familiar classic is one dish that's always worth the time and effort. Lasagna makes a great party food, because it can be assembled well ahead of time. Then all you have to do is pop it in the oven and you've got enough food to feed a crowd.
This classic lasagna recipe has the old-world flavor people love and the traditional cooking method that makes this recipe a keeper. One serving has 441 calories--not bad for such a rich, filling and delicious main course. You can substitute low-fat cheeses and ground turkey or chicken to reduce the calories, though some people find that using lower-fat alternatives also takes away some of the flavor.
-Hey everyone! I'm Judith with recipe.com, and today, I'm gonna be showing you how to make a classic lasagna. This is a feel-good, confident, indulgent Italian classic which we just love. So, what you'll need is 1 cup of diced onions. We have 15 ounces of ricotta cheese. We have 14-1/2 ounces of chopped tomatoes in its sauce. We have 12 ounces of ground beef and 6 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese. We have 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese. We have 8 ounces of tomato sauce. There's 1 egg which we've lightly beaten, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, 2 cloves of garlic which we've minced, and 1 tablespoon of Italian-- dried Italian seasoning and 6 dried lasagna noodles. So, we put our heat to a medium heat and we let our-- a large skillet get nice and hot. Now, what we're gonna do is put in our onions. Our garlic goes in there and our ground beef will be going in there too. So, we wanna get our beef nice and brown. It usually takes about 6 to 9 minutes and, after that, we'll drain off all the fat once it's done. So we've drained our nicely brown ground beef into a large saucepan and that-- that's looking great right now. So, we're gonna put that to a medium heat and we're gonna add in our tomato sauces and ingredients, so, and goes our tomato sauce to the mix and goes our chopped, diced tomatoes. Our Italian seasoning goes in there too and our black pepper. And, we're gonna get that to a nice boil, stir it all in there. So, behind me, I have heated up a large pot of boiling water and we're gonna transfer our lasagna noodles into there. We're gonna cook them for about 10 to 12 minutes until they get nice and tender, but still a little bit al dente. So, our lasagna noodles are ready. We've rinsed them. We've drained them. We rinsed them into the cold water and they're ready now. It's for our buildup of our lasagna. Our meat sauce is also ready. It's nice and thick. It smells wonderful and that is ready too. So, last thing, we're gonna do our filling. So, we'll get our ricotta cheese, put that all in there, our egg, and our grated parmesan cheese goes in there too and we're gonna give that a nice stir, so that is all mixed up there, lookin' good. All right, now, it's ready for the build-up. So, we have a 2-quart rectangular baking dish right here. So, we're gonna use this. Now, first of all, we're gonna get about 1/2 cup of our meat sauce and we're gonna lay that on to the bottom. All right, so, once that's down there, let us get our egg noodles. So, we're gonna put half of the layers on here. Now, you can overlap them like this way if necessary or trim them that-- that should be fine. A lot of Italians actually use scraped lasagna noodles, but the curly ones work really well 'cause they capture all the sauce. So, there we go. We've got our third layer there. Let us put in half of our cheesy filling on top there. Now, we're gonna put half of our remaining meat sauce on top of that. So, that would go, goes all the way on, just looks beautiful. All right, now, we're gonna top that with half of our mozzarella cheese and that goes on like so. Great! And, we'll do our second layer. So fantastic! And, again, we'll go with our cheesy filling. Now, if you wanted to do a bechamel filling, that tastes really yummy too. All right, then let's put in our remaining beef on the top. Lovely! And, finally, we'll put on our remaining mozzarella cheese and if you have extra parmesan cheese to go on top of that, that is fabulous too. So, we've put our baking dish onto a baking tray and that's gonna go in the oven now for 30 minutes. Well, we have taken our lasagna out the oven and it just looks delicious. I'm gonna refrain myself from eating it straight away. We've let it settle for about 10 minutes. Now, make sure you do this before you serve up, so that's it. How beautiful, indulgent, cheesy, meaty, creamy. It's a great dish. That is your classic lasagna. Well, thanks for watching everyone. For more great recipes and savings, go to recipe.com.
What You'll Need
- 12 ounces bulk Italian or pork sausage or ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 dried lasagna noodles
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 15 ounce container ricotta cheese or 2 cups cream-style cottage cheese, drained
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Step By Step
For sauce, in a large saucepan cook sausage, onion, and garlic until meat is brown. Drain.
Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds (if desired), and black pepper into meat mixture. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook noodles for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain noodles; rinse with cold water. Drain well; set aside.
For filling, combine egg, ricotta, and the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Layer half of the cooked noodles in the bottom of the dish, trimming or overlapping as necessary to fit. Spread with half of the filling. Top with half of the remaining meat sauce and half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. If desired, sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese over top.
Place baking dish on a baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.
Make Ahead Tip
Prepare as above through step 5. Cover unbaked lasagna; chill for up to 24 hours. To serve, bake, covered, in a 375 degree F oven for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake about 20 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Substitute 6 no-boil lasagna noodles (one-third of a 9 ounce package) for the regular lasagna noodles and skip step 3. Omit the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, and pepper. For sauce, stir a 26-ounce jar pasta sauce into the browned meat mixture. Do not simmer. Continue as directed in step 4.
When you know how to make lasagna in this traditional, classic way, you won't be satisfied with anything other than real thing. In taste, texture and appearance, homemade lasagna beats the frozen variety, and even rivals that of the best Italian restaurants.