Simple Lasagna Shopping Tips
Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.
Simple Lasagna Cooking Tips
Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.
Cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nero d'avola, primitivo, sangiovese, or carménère with meat- or tomato-based sauces; grenache or chardonnay with cheese lasagna without tomato sauce.
Best Classic Lasagna
Danielle Centoni is a Portland-based, James Beard Journalism Award-winning food writer and cookbook author whose idea of a perfect day always includes butter, sugar, flour, and an oven.×
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 39g||50%|
|Saturated Fat 16g||80%|
|Total Carbohydrate 35g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||17%|
|Total Sugars 12g|
|Vitamin C 20mg||98%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Lasagna is always a family favorite, and for good reason. Classic, homemade lasagna is pure comfort food, and while it takes a little effort to put together, it's easy to cook and feeds a crowd. This traditional lasagna recipe has a simple meat and tomato sauce that's alternated with gooey cheese and noodles for an irresistible dish.
The meat sauce is made first and can easily be done ahead of time. After simmering, cool and store in the fridge for up to a day before layering the lasagna. From there, it only takes minutes to boil the noodles and assemble the dish before baking until bubbly. Fresh, sliced mozzarella takes this lasagna to the next level.
Lasagna needs little accompaniment. Serve slices with a fresh green salad for a color and texture contrast. Or, for a feast, serve with garlic bread.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 750g minced beef
- 250ml red wine
- 600g canned tomatoes
- 1 tbsp ground oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- sea salt and black pepper
- 9 dried lasagne sheets
- 300g ricotta
- 400g mozzarella
- 100g Parmesan, grated bunch of basil, shredded, a few whole reserved for the top
Easy Baked Lasagna Rolls Recipe
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald
The idea of building a multi-tiered, multi-component lasagna can be dizzying for most cooks. For them, we offer this simplified form, the lasagna roll: a tight pasta bundle containing all the same flavors as the traditional baked pasta, but without the daunting architecture. Its basic shape helps you avoid creating one of those cheesy, soupy catastrophes so common in Italian-American restaurants, the ones where it's impossible to discern where the pasta stops and the sauce begins. The structure is sound, the flavors are clear and pronounced, and the calories are greatly reduced. What more could you want?
Nutrition: 380 calories, 11 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 950 mg sodium
Easy Lasagna Recipes To Make With No-Boil Noodles
Many staples of Italian cuisine are born out of a labor of love ― handmade pastas are meticulously kneaded and and cut, and sauces are slowly simmered for hours. But when you, a home cook, want to slap together an Italian-ish dinner, you don’t necessarily have time for that. Frankly, you may not even have time to boil a pot of lasagna noodles, much less struggle with the slippery ribbons as you lay them out before assembly.
This is where no-boil lasagna noodles come in. In an effort to save our time and energy, the modern food technology gods have created no-boil (sometimes called “oven-ready”) lasagna noodles, which are layered into your dish raw and come out of the oven fully cooked. We did a little research and after asking food scientists and some Italian chefs what they think of the shortcut, the answer is clear: If you’re looking for a reliable alternative to traditional noodles that’s fast and user-friendly, they’re worth it.
But if you’re not a completely confident home cook, you may not trust yourself to replace cooked noodles with no-boil noodles in any old lasagna recipe you find. That’s why we found 12 lasagna recipes that specifically call for no-boil noodles ― they’ve been been tried and tested, and they’ll guarantee a consistent result every time. Go ahead and make life a little easier with these 12 recipes.
How To Make Classic Lasagna
Start out by cooking onions and garlic for a few minutes then adding ground beef. Brown, drain fat, then return to pan. Next, add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, seasonings and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low flame for 20-25 minutes. While the meat mixture is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions for al dente, rinse and set aside. Spray a large baking dish with a non stick spray then spread a small amount of meat sauce to the bottom of the dish.
Easy Chicken Lasagna
Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly coat a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil and set aside.
Cook lasagna noodles until al dente according to package instructions. Rinse under cold water until cool. Lay the cooked pasta flat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Spread a light layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Lay 3 to 4 lasagna noodles lengthwise over the sauce.
Layer one-third of the remaining tomato sauce over the lasagna noodles and then layer half of the ricotta mixture. Layer half of the chicken over the ricotta and then spread one-third of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat this pattern: noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, chicken and mozzarella cheese. Add a final layer of lasagna noodles, then add remaining tomato sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese.
Bake lasagna for about 45 minutes or until the top cheese is melted and golden.
Remove from oven allow to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Classic Lasagna Recipe with No Boil Noodles
I love lasagna and so I&rsquove been on the hunt for a good recipe. It&rsquos my kid&rsquos favorite meal that I make, but I want all the ease of a normal meal on a busy weeknight. When I want to go a little fancier than my skillet lasagna recipe then I go for the classic lasagna recipe made with no-boil noodles. The no-boil noodles are KEY!
Why no boil noodles? Because they are so easy and you can&rsquot tell the difference once the lasagna is cooked! The key is giving them enough room to expand during the recipe &ndash and making sure you have enough sauce for them to soak up. Lasagna has a reputation for a laborious recipe &ndash and no boil noodles change that conversation.
You can see once you layer your lasagna that it looks like the pan is not quite filled &ndash never fear. It will all fill out.
Once baked, it fills the pan beautifully &ndash and besides a little rippling, no one is the wiser.
If you love lasagna as much as our family &ndash you will love the ease of the no boil noodles. They&rsquore my lasagna best friend. 🙂
Joy Behar's famous lasagna recipe will become your favorite dish
Learn how Joy Behar makes the lasagna that "The View" co-hosts go crazy for!
Joy Behar makes her famous lasagna
“The View” co-hosts might have their differences but there’s one thing everyone can agree on: Joy Behar’s legendary lasagna.
A dish that is often discussed on the show, Behar makes Whoopi Goldberg a piece of her coveted Italian dish for Goldberg’s birthday every year.
“She’s an EGOT. She deserves the lasagna,” Behar said of Goldberg in her instructional video.
“This is so easy to do, any idiot can do this,” she joked. “I don’t know why they make such a big fuss over it. It’s just lasagna.”
Behar takes us into her kitchen to make her much talked about lasagna.
JOY'S FAMOUS LASAGNA
• 1 1/2 lbs sweet Italian sausage (removed from casings)
• 1 lb. whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
Ingredients for Sauce
• 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• 1 28 oz can crushed Italian tomatoes
• 1/2 cup fresh basil (chopped)
Ingredients for Cheese Mixture
• 1 lb. whole milk ricotta cheese
• 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
• 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (for garnish)
1. Prepare Oven & Noodles
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and position the oven rack in the middle. Soak lasagna noodles in hot tap water while you cook your sauce or according to box directions.
2. Make The Sauce
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add chopped onion cooking over medium-low heat until translucent (about 5 minutes). Then, add the garlic and stir for one more minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, marinara sauce, tomato paste, oregano, basil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
3. Cook The Sausage
While your sauce is simmering, cook the sausage in deep skillet over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until fully cooked and no longer pink.
4. Prepare The Cheese Mixture
While the sauce and sausage are cooking, make the cheese filling. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, one cup of Parmesan, the beaten egg, chopped parsley, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
5. Assemble the layers
Ladle one-third of the meat sauce into a 9"x 12"x 2" casserole or baking pan. Spread the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add approximately half the pasta (in one layer, cover the sauce with the noodles), half the sliced mozzarella, half the cheese mixture, and one third of the sauce. Add another single layer of noodles, mozzarella, ricotta and the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan on top and bake uncovered for 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling.
Every episode of ABC's award-winning talk show "The View" is now available as a podcast! Listen and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher or the ABC News app.
Make Giada De Laurentiis's short rib lasagna
1. Make a delicious sauce
In Italy, lasagnas made with white sauces like béchamel sauce and alfredo sauce are just as common as those made with red sauces.
For traditional lasagna, go with classic tomato sauce or Bolognese sauce made with ground meat or crumbled sausage. Other meats work well too, like short ribs — a favorite of Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis.
Sexton likes to add vegetables to tomato sauce like shredded zucchini, carrots and mushrooms. If using store-bought sauce, pick one that does not have salt or sugar listed in the first five ingredients on the label, she said.
For something different, Sexton suggested adding a layer of pesto sauce or using a puree of butternut squash or carrots to add some sweetness and texture.
2. Prepare the baking dish
To prevent homemade lasagna from sticking to the dish, start by adding a drizzle of olive oil and a little bit of sauce — note, this is not a full layer of sauce — on the bottom. Spread it all around evenly. This will prevent the next layer from sticking.
3. Layer the lasagna noodles
After setting down a base, it's time to add the noodles.
"No-bake noodles are excellent and are a big noodle innovation," said Sexton. "They makes life a little bit easier because they don't need to be boiled ahead of time. They taste as good as regular noodles and there's no reason not use them. Why not save yourself one step of having to boil all of those noodles?"
Sexton recommended using no-bake noodles with curly edges to add more texture to the lasagna, but straight sheets of no-bake noodles work well too.
If using fresh pasta, boil the lasagna noodles in salted water until they are soft, about 10 seconds. Place the softened noodles in a bowl of ice water to keep them from overcooking. To keep the cooled noodles from sticking together, place them on a sheet tray and separate them with layers of paper towels.
For slow-cooker or Crock-Pot lasagna, use uncooked regular lasagna noodles, which will hold their shape well and won't become a mushy mess.
4. Spread on cheese, if desired
There are several ways to incorporate a creamy or cheesy layer in a lasagna. One way is to use a white sauce like a béchamel sauce or Alfredo sauce, which is basically a béchamel sauce with cheese.
For a classic cheese filling for a standard 9-by-13-inch lasagna, combine 4 cups of ricotta, 1 cup of grated Parmesan, 2 eggs, 1 clove of minced garlic and 1/4 cup of freshly chopped herbs like basil, oregano and parsley.
For something even simpler, Sexton suggested adding a layer of mascarpone cheese. "It's a little richer, so you don’t need to really add anything else to it because it's so satisfying," she said.
5. Add vegetables, if desired
Any vegetable that is included in a lasagna should be sauteed, roasted or grilled first.
"If the vegetables are not cooked ahead of time, they will not be tender and there will be a lot of excess water in the lasagna," Sexton said.
Vegetables can be added to a tomato sauce, pureed into a sauce or added as a layer on their own.
"Lasagnas are also a great way to use up leftover vegetables," Sexton added.
6. Keep going with those lasagna layers
Remember the lasagna mantra? The order should be sauce, noodle, filling . for about four layers.
7. Top off the lasagna
Finish the lasagna with one more layer of sauce — just enough to moisten the noodles — and then put a lot of cheese on top to keep it from burning. This will also form a wonderfully crispy top.
There are many options when it comes to the perfecting the final creamy and cheesy layer of a lasagna. A classic topping is a mix of shredded fresh mozzarella and grated Parmesan, pecorino or asiago cheeses. Sexton also suggested trying crumbled ricotta or sliced provolone which melts well.
For an extra creamy finish, try a mix of fontina and mascarpone or a thick layer of béchamel sauce.
"You can also top it with a béchamel sauce mixed with a blend of your favorite cheeses — even blue cheese," she said.
8. Bake the lasagna
Baking temperatures vary by recipe and usually range from 350 degrees to 400 degrees. The average baking time for a lasagna is about 35 to 40 minutes. If the top appears to be browning too quickly, tent the lasagna with foil and wait for the lasagna to heat all the way through before removing from the oven.
"You'll know it's done when there is a lot of bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted and browned on the top," Sexton said. "If you're not sure if it's done, stick a knife or metal utensil into the center. The lasagna is done when you can pierce everything all the way through and the metal item feels hot when it is removed.
Now that we've noodled around the basics of making lasagna, try making homemade lasagna with these recipes.