lasagna cooking tips
Lasagna might be an easy dish to master but it is still worthwhile learning a few tips for making the best lasagna recipes. Spray the dish with a nonstick spray before you start, so you can lift your finished lasagna out easily instead of it sticking. Some home cooks like to let their lasagna sit in the dish for ten or fifteen minutes before serving it, so it sets better. If you serve it straight from the oven, not only will it be too hot to eat but also it will be more slippery and runny.
Why not try a different lasagna recipe if you always make the same one. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a classic lasagna but if you like that, why not experiment a little? A salmon lasagna might break up the tedium of always serving a ground beef lasagna, or you might like to try one of our international lasagna recipes, bringing an exotic flavor to your table and serving up a favorite meal at the same time. There are many ways to keep your lasagnas fresh and exciting.
How to Use Lasagna Noodles
There are two main kinds of lasagna noodles – the kind you boil and the kind you do not. The finished noodles are supposed to be al dente but not soggy and not crunchy either. No-boil noodles are thinner than regular ones. They are pre-cooked and then dried, which means they will soften in the oven with the sauce. Some people have trouble with no-boil noodles and the reason for this is they need sufficient moisture to soften.
Your sauce should be slightly more watery than usual if you are using no-boil noodles, to ensure the pasta has enough moisture. If you are going to use a thicker sauce, soak the noodles in hot water before putting the lasagna together.
It is also a good idea to cover the lasagna with foil while it cooks and just take it off at the end so the cheese can brown; this helps to keep the moisture in. You can stick some toothpicks into the lasagna if you do this, to stop the foil from sticking to the cheese. No-boil noodles must be totally covered in sauce; any exposed edges will stay crunchy.
Most kinds expand when they cook too so you might want to slightly overlap them, else they will slide up the dish as they expand and become exposed. Some home cooks soak regular lasagna noodles instead of boiling them but soaking them can remove the starch and make them gummy. What you prefer makes a difference too.
Not everyone likes thin no-boil noodles. Some people like thicker, more robust ones, especially if they are using hearty fillings and chunky sauces. Precook regular lasagna noodles for eight minutes or so before using them. They should be al dente when you assemble the lasagna. Also, do not leave them in the colander after draining them, else they might stick together.
If you do not want to use lasagna noodles, you can use egg noodles in layers instead, or even rice or sliced zucchini. There are plenty of ways to make lasagna and if you do not want to use noodles, you do not have to.
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