Lasagna is a favorite type of meal for many families and individuals. Actually, so many families love to make and eat lasagna that they generally schedule at least one night a week to enjoy lasagna as a family meal. They call this special occasion lasagna night. Some families might bring home a pre-made package of lasagna and pop it in the microwave or oven until it is done and then serve it as a meal to family and friends.
However, you can learn how to make lasagna noodles by following a lasagna noodle recipe. You can also learn how to make a homemade lasagna sauce recipe to go along with your homemade noodles. You might think by looking at them that lasagna noodles may be difficult to make at home from scratch. However, it only takes some flour of your choice. You can make them with white flour, wheat flour and other flour types to suit you and your dietary needs and preferences.
Once you choose the type of flour you will use, you will need a few different spices and herbs for adding some flavor to the flour noodles. These spices might include salt and pepper of course. However, you might also include some garlic, onions, oregano, and basil to name just a few.
It actually depends on the type of lasagna sauce you will be making the types of herbs and spices you will include. For instance, if you are making chicken lasagna you might use various other types of herbs, spices, and ingredients than you will if you are making meat lasagna or vegetarian lasagna.
Alternatives to Lasagna Noodles
Although making lasagna noodles is simple and buying them is easy, you can also substitute other ingredients for lasagna noodles. Most people like pasta but not everyone does. Some people do not like the texture and others do not like the flavor.
If you are not keen on the texture of flat or rippled pasta sheets, you might prefer to use egg noodles instead. Some kinds of pasta are made with egg anyway so the flavor will be similar, but the spaghetti-like texture makes a change from typical lasagna noodles.
If you are not keen on the heaviness of lasagna noodles, you might be interested in using no-boil pasta noodles. Not only are these suitable for making crockpot lasagna recipes but they are lighter than regular noodles, so you might prefer the daintier consistency.
Pasta-Free Lasagna Recipes
Another option would be to use layers of rice or even tortillas if you are making a Mexican lasagna recipe. You can forgo the pasta altogether if you want to make a low-carb lasagna recipe and use thin slices of eggplant or zucchini instead, sandwiched together with alternate layers of rich tomato sauce and creamy bechamel sauce.
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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