how to make lasagna
Lasagna might seem like a complicated dish to make because there are a lot of components, but in all honestly it is not a difficult dish. When you also consider the fact that it can be made in advance, cooked hours or days later and frozen, then the prospect of making this classic pasta dish might seem more tempting.
Experimenting with Classic Lasagna Recipes
At its heart, lasagna is a combination of noodles, sauce, cheese, and filling. Because it is such a simple dish, it is good for adaptation and improvisation, as long as you stay true to the basic components, featuring some kind of noodles or replacement for them, some kind of filling, and some kind of sauce.
Lasagna does not need to be layered in a dish either. Some people like to make lasagna rollups, rolling the filling in the lasagna noodles and serving each person a couple of these rather than a square of conventional lasagna. Others like to use sliced vegetables instead of pasta, and some people like to use ground chicken or turkey rather than ground beef, or even the more economically priced ground pork.
Lasagna can be made in as many layers as you like, although a lot of people opt for a two-layered lasagna recipe. You can use no-boil noodles or the regular ones. No-boil noodles are thinner and a better option if you are making a crockpot lasagna recipe. They are also good if you are in a hurry because, as the name implies, there is no boiling involved like with thicker pasta that must soften before being added to the dish.
You can use a bechamel or tomato sauce to make your lasagna, or you can experiment with other kinds of sauce. Bechamel is a white sauce which is widely used in both French and Italian cuisine. It is used as the base of other sauces and it is made by whisking scalded milk into a butter and flour mixture.
Bechamel sauce can be made into cheese sauce, heavy cream sauce, mustard sauce, onion sauce and more. If you add brandy or rum and spices to bechamel sauce you can make a sweet dessert sauce. This is a traditional accompaniment to Christmas Pudding in the UK.
The thickness of your bechamel sauce depends on the milk and flour ratio. Famous recipes made with bechamel sauce include moussaka, lasagna and some kinds of croque-monsieur.
Mozzarella and parmesan are the traditional cheeses for lasagna, although some people like to use ricotta. Fontina can be substituted for the mozzarella if you like. You do not have to limit yourself to two cheeses either, because any shredded or soft cheese works well in homemade lasagna recipes. Try mixing in some gorgonzola or goat’s cheese.
Nearly anything works as a lasagna filling, including browned meat, sausage, meatballs, chicken, turkey, tofu, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, salmon, crab, spinach, or a combination of ingredients. You can make a very tasty vegetable lasagna recipe using vegetables that do not have to cook in water. Veggies which cook in water result in extra liquid which makes the lasagna too runny.
Precook your vegetables before assembling the lasagna. Try sautéing artichoke hearts or roasting asparagus, or use mixed mushrooms and spinach, or another delicious combination.
Sharing the task of preparing easy lasagna recipes means you can make it even more fun. Whether you enlist the help of your kids to weigh and measure out the ingredients, or get your partner to help make the perfect lasagna recipe, the results are sure to be great. There is nothing difficult about making lasagna, although you might want to follow a few easy lasagna recipes before experimenting with your favorites, tweaking the ingredients a little or making other adjustments. Learning how to make lasagna is a great idea if you want to prepare a healthy, filling, and tasty meal for the whole family.
If chefs decided to make one word to describe lasagna, it would be “variety.” Thousands of recipes and cooks have different answers about how to make lasagna. You could probably fix a different recipe every night for years without running out.
Decide what kind of noodles you want to use, flat or wavy. Perhaps you want to make your own lasagna noodles and have to decide on thick or thin and wide or narrow. There are store-bought noodles that can be baked rather than precooked and wide noodles that cooks soak in hot water for a few moments and then layer them to complete cooking during the baking process.
Try any method and be sure to read the instructions for cooking the noodles so they turn out right. Some noodles involve a bit more than dropping into a pan of boiling water for 8 minutes and the pasta is a big part of the taste of lasagna.
Make sure the pan you are using is large enough so all the layers will fit. If you find there is extra, build a small lasagna in another pan and freeze it to use another time. Stuffing everything together and overfilling the pan will interfere with the quality and result of the meal.
Lasagna is a lot like stir-fry in that assembling the ingredients in the order used makes it easier to prepare. If you are making vegetarian lasagna, there are many options to make delicious lasagna.
Delicious ingredients like mushrooms, zucchini, olives, fresh spinach, fresh parmesan, and mozzarella cheese add to the texture and taste. Any lasagna needs time to set after baking. Remove it from the oven and allow it to sit for 30 to 45 minutes before serving.
More Lasagna Cooking Tips
Use cooking spray to prevent your homemade lasagna from sticking to the baking dish. Although it will taste the same if it breaks when you are trying to remove your neat squares, it will look better if it comes smoothly out of the baking dish.
An attractive baking dish is a good idea because it can be taken straight from the oven to the table. This might not matter so much if you are serving the lasagna to the family but if you are serving it when you have friends over for a dinner party you will want to use an attractive baking dish if it is going to be on show.
The Best Oil and Tomatoes
Olive oil is one of the tastiest oils to use in lasagna recipes but it is not your only option. You could be inspired by Greek pastitsio cooks (pastitsio is a type of Greek lasagna made with tubular pasta instead of lasagna noodles) and use peanut oil, or you could try canola oil or your favorite vegetable oil. Some extra-virgin olive oil drizzled over the top of your finished lasagna gives it a very Italian feel.
Another key ingredient is tomatoes and you can use canned, peeled plum tomatoes to make a tasty lasagna sauce. You can puree them for a smooth sauce or crush them by hand for a rustic-style, chunky sauce. Tomato paste is good for thickening your lasagna sauce and sundried tomato pasta has an extra-rich taste.
Lasagna can be an intimidating recipe. Which is one reason many people never learn how to make lasagna. There are many way to make this traditionally Italian dish, including an all vegetable variety. Do you want to use wheat or gluten free ingredients? Perhaps you prefer a white sauce to ricotta or cottage cheese! How you make lasagna will depend on all of these factors and many more.
Different Lasagna Types
Did you know you could make a lasagna dish with rice? The next time you are out of noodles, have no fear, that bag of brown rice in the cabinet will make an excellent substitute. Simply cook the rice to package specifications and then layer the rice in place of noodles. Not only is this an easy alternative, it is a bit healthier as well.
Cook ground beef, sausage, onion, and garlic in a heavy Dutch oven or large skillet if necessary. Once meat is no longer pink, add in tomato sauce, paste and crushed tomatoes as well as sugar, basil, salt, pepper, parsley and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for an hour or so stirring infrequently.
Grease large baking dish, 9×13 inch. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and begin layering ingredients. Many people begin with either noodles or meat sauce. Alternate noodles, ricotta cheese, meat sauce mixture and shredded mozzarella. Last layer should end in mozzarella and parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes with tin foil, bake additional 25 minutes without foil, then allow to cool 20 minutes before serving.
The Appeal of Mexican Lasagna
Although lasagna is an Italian dish rather than a Mexican one, the Mexicans have their own version of this delicious comfort food. Mexican lasagna is an interpretation of lasagna using south of the border ingredients. Known as “Budin Azteca” (which roughly translates as Aztec pudding), Mexican lasagna can feature beef or chicken.
Other typical ingredients in Mexican lasagna recipes are Monterey Jack cheese or a Mexican cheese blend, sour cream, chilies, salsa, cilantro, and corn tortillas. Sometimes flour tortillas are used in place of the corn ones, and if you want to make a traditional lasagna with a subtle Mexican flavor you can use pasta noodles.
Other Ways to Make This Delicious Dish
If you want a very subtle taste of Mexico, you can just change a couple of the ingredients in an authentic Italian lasagna recipe to give you the desired results. Perhaps you can swap the oregano and parsley for cilantro and a pinch of chili powder, or another idea is to swap the tomato sauce for salsa and the mozzarella for Monterey Jack cheese.
Mexican recipes are very appealing and, like lasagna, they are typically made with fresh ingredients. This is why lasagna is dear to Mexican hearts, and why there are plenty of mouthwatering Mexican lasagna recipes to choose from, ranging from Italian style lasagna with a subtle Mexican taste to the full-blown Budin Azteca recipe.
Are you of the mind that making homemade lasagna is a difficult task? Perhaps, you love the various flavors and textures that abound in good home cooked lasagna. You might like to eat it. However, you are not sure how to make lasagna from scratch. If you are tired of eating store bought or pre-packaged lasagna dishes, you will be thrilled to learn just how to make easy lasagna.
Lasagna is one of our family favorites; we enjoy lasagna night at home with the family. Even the kids look forward to lasagna night. This is one of the reasons why we enjoy sharing all these great tasting recipes with you, and your family. We understand how important it is to spend time with the family while enjoying nutritious and delicious meals together. Children grow up and are then leave home in hardly any time at all.
It is essential to spend time as a family as well as teaching the kids how to cook different types of recipes. Once you learn how to make some of these easy to make lasagna recipes, you and your family will enjoy lasagna night too. The best thing about it is that making homemade lasagna is so much easier than you might think it is.
You can make some lasagna today if you have all the ingredients you need to make any lasagna recipe you choose to use. You may choose from a wide range of recipes to make, while you learn how to make easy lasagna recipes at home today. So, come along and find the right lasagna recipe for you and your family.
The Best Occasions for Lasagna
Although lasagna is perfect for a family dinner at home, there are other occasions which are also great to serve lasagna. Since many lasagna recipes can be make hours or even a couple of days in advance and then cooked when you want, it makes a good option if you are having a dinner party or a large get-together.
Lasagna is a brilliant idea if you have plenty of mouths to feed and it is a real crowd-pleaser. You can make one or two large-sized lasagnas and feed up to twenty people with it. Making the lasagna in advance means you will not be stuck in the kitchen cooking when your dinner guests have arrived. All you need to do is put the lasagna in the oven when you are ready and serve it when it is done. The hard work will have been done in advance.
Other Ideas for Lovely Lasagna
You might like to make an extra-special lasagna recipe if you are hosting a dinner party. Perhaps this is the right time to serve a stunning seafood lasagna which boasts delicacies such as crab, salmon, or lobster. You cannot go wrong with a traditional meat lasagna though so if you are in doubt whether all your guests enjoy fish and seafood, you might prefer to make a hearty beef one.
Lasagna is also a great solution for potluck suppers. Again, the fact that you can make it in advance is handy, but the fact that almost everyone loves lasagna helps as well. If you have time, you could even make a pair of lasagnas – one meat and one fish, or one vegetable and one Mexican-style, or any other combination you want. You can prepare them in advance and then bake them together, giving people the opportunity to sample two great lasagnas instead of just one.
Can you imagine the wonderful scents and flavors you can create when you learn how to make lasagna with meat sauce? If you and your family enjoy eating homemade lasagna, you will want to know how to make several different lasagna recipes so you can experience a different flavor each time you make lasagna. You can choose from many different types of lasagna recipes to find the best tasting dish for your family.
When you start to learn how to make lasagna with meat sauce at home from scratch, you may never want to make lasagna any other way. This is especially true if you have many people in your home that prefer your homemade lasagna over store bought or pre-packaged deals. Homemade lasagna with meat sauce is delicious. You and your family will enjoy a nutritious and healthy meal when you make your own lasagna at home.
Of course, the type of meat sauce you will make for your homemade lasagna recipe will depend on the type of recipe you choose to use to make your meal. For instance, meat sauce for chicken lasagna will vary in ingredients than if you are making a beef meat sauce.
If you are making vegetarian lasagna, you will not include meat in the sauce when you make it at home. However, regardless of the type of lasagna recipe you use, you will always want to use good and nutritious ingredients to make homemade lasagna. Learning how to make lasagna with meat sauce can be exciting and fun. Consider teaching the kids how to make some too.
Making the Best Meat Sauce
A good meat sauce is important if you want to make a great lasagna recipe and making meat sauce is very easy. Whether you are using beef, chicken, pork, turkey or another type of ground meat, it is important to cook the meat properly and drain off any fat before adding the meat sauce to the lasagna. You might be surprised how much fat comes out of meat when you brown it, and you should drain it well, using a colander or large sieve, before using it.
Fat even comes out of lean ground beef, so you will need to drain your meat whichever type you have browned. This applies whether you are using an oven to bake your lasagna in the traditional manner, or browning it to add to your crockpot for a slow-cooked lasagna recipe. Adding un-drained meat to your lasagna will make it oily and soggy, and that is not what a great lasagna recipe is all about.
Which Meat to Use
The type of meat you pick for your lasagna recipe is your call. Although beef is the most popular meat for easy lasagna recipes, poultry is also good. You could even try ground pork or lamb. A package of hamburger meat can be used to make tasty lasagna, as can sausage.
Use a variety of meat that everyone in the family likes the taste of and choose other ingredients to complement the meat. If you are using lamb, you can add some fresh mint leaves and rosemary to bring out the flavor. If you are using seafood instead of meat, alter the other ingredients accordingly.
When you are in the mood for making a great tasting homemade meal for your family, you want something that is easy to make and will not take up too much of your time. You can do that when you learn how to make lasagna at home. Making lasagna is not hard at all. You can follow our simple and easy to follow directions to make many different types of lasagna recipes for you and your family.
While making lasagna at home, you can use boxed lasagna noodles and cook them separately to make the dish. However, you can also learn how to make lasagna noodles at home to serve with your homemade lasagna meat sauce as well. Of course, you will need a few other ingredients to make the lasagna sauce. What you need will depend on the type of lasagna you will make at home to serve to family and friends.
For instance, some lasagna recipes may call for various types of meats and cheeses. Others may be vegetarian lasagna recipes and only call for vegetables and herbs. Having on hand, the things you need is always a good thing. However, the ingredients you will need are common ingredients that you can find at the local grocer. Some of them you might even grow in your own lasagna garden.
The most important thing is to enjoy yourself and your family while dinning together over a delicious dinner after you learn how to make lasagna at home. You and your family can enjoy this mouthwatering homemade lasagna during family night or lasagna night. Learn how to make different types of lasagna and you can try something different at each meal.
Start with an Easy Lasagna Recipe
Lasagna is a great option for dinner and your family is sure to love the results of your culinary efforts. All of our lasagna recipes are easy enough for a cooking beginner to make, and you can use ingredients to help you like readymade pasta noodles and canned tomato sauce, or you can be adventurous and make your own.
If you have avoided making your own lasagna recipes in the past because you were worried it was a difficult dish, now is the perfect time to browse our extensive collection of easy lasagna recipes and pick one out which you would like to make. There are lasagna recipes for everyone, no matter whether you fancy a meat lasagna, a fish, or seafood one, something with tofu or vegetables, or even one of our exciting international lasagna recipes.
Making Your Own Unique Lasagna
Any lasagna recipe can be tweaked and adapted to make it more to your taste. If you want to swap one vegetable for another, sweeten the sauce, swap one herb for another one, or even change the meat for another kind of meat, go ahead.
It is very difficult to mess up a lasagna recipe because this layered dish is wide open for interpretation and adaptation. You can include your favorite meat, favorite sauce, and favorite vegetables. You can even make a special topping. Some crisscrossed strips of ham on top, for example, can add interest to a basic meat lasagna.
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