Lasagna

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Lasagna

Three lasagna trays ready to be baked in the oven

Lasagna

a piece of delicious lasagna

I like to refer to Lasagna as the “secret weapon” pasta; that is to say, it’s easy to prepare, freezes well, and seems to be a perennial favorite (thus you can make and consume it often!).  And as Wisegeek.com suggests, the history of the name lasagna is also very interesting.  The word lasagna is derived from the Greek lasanon, which is translated as “chamber pot.”  The Romans borrowed the word to refer to cooking pots of a similar shape, and at some point the word came to be used to refer to the noodles which were traditionally layered in a lasanum, a Roman lasagna dish.

Out version of lasagna includes flat lasagna pasta (no ridges, per the Italian standard), tomato sauce (click here for my homemade recipe) with a bit of meat (pork and beef), ricotta (click here to learn how to make ricotta at home), mozzarella, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (see my guide to cheese).  Some recipes call for Béchamel sauce but adding the sauce seems like an unnecessary ingredient and task, so like most Italian dishes, keep it simple.  Note we’ve recieved some negative feedback on not including Béchamel sauce in our lasagna recipe so we suggest you go with the method that yields the best results for you.

You can prepare your dry pasta in a separate pot or use dry lasagna pasta that cooks via the moisture in the baking dish.  Rustichella makes a great lasagna pasta.

Lasagna is also #68 on the Scordo Pasta Challenge - the challenge marches on!

Lasagna
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Cook:
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
  • 1 pound of fresh mozzarella
  • 6-7 cups of tomato sauce
  • 2-3 cups of fresh ricotta
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (see my guide to cheese)
  • A small amount of ground beef and/or pork sauteed in olive oil prior to inclusion in dish
  • 1 box of flat (no ridge) dry lasagna

Process
  1. Cook the pasta per the instructions on the box and place the pasta on the bottom of a pan, then add sauce, mozzarella, grated cheese, ricotta, and ground meat.
  2. Repeat until your ingredients run out! Note: the top layer should be the sauce with a bit of grated cheese, if you’d like.
  3. Place aluminum foil over baking dish and bake in oven at 375°F for 40 minutes.
  4. The ideal lasagna should be about the right combination of pasta, tomato sauce, and cheeses and not simply a cheese bomb!

lasagna

Three trays of lasagna ready to be baked in the oven

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  • http://italianmamachef.wordpress.com Michelle @ Italian Mama Chef

    I recently made crock pot lasagna and it turned out great! I also made it with the bechamel sauce for the first time and since I used the slow cooker, it was a wise move to add it in. The white sauce added in an extra bit of moisture.
    Since lasagna is so easy I just don’t see why people say it’s so hard to make. They must not be Italian!
    http://italianmamachef.wordpress.com/recipes/crock-pot-lasagna/

  • http://www.lasagna-recipe.com/ lasagna

    This is my favorite dish to make, basically because it’s my kids’ favorite, too. And I find it really easy to make, contrary to some people’s impression about lasagna. I even have lasagna recipes that I call budget lasagnas and those which falls to my category of fancy lasagnas. To be quite frankly, it can be so versatile you can do whatever you want with it. I’ve tried crockpot lasagna as well just like Michelle. It’s perfect on a really busy night or on manic Mondays. :)

  • http://www.scordo.com/2010/04/recipe-how-to-make-ricotta-at-home-recipe-cheese.html Italian Food and Recipes – Scordo.com

    Recipe: How to Make Ricotta at Home

    (photo: courtesy of Dr. K) My first memory of ricotta wasn’t pleasant.  I remember thinking that the cheese was tasteless and had a consistency of something akin to white mud rather than some wonderful food concoction.  Fast forward about 20…

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    Carnevale in Italia

    (photo: Carnevale in Reggio Calabria, thanks to Demetrio Bruno for the photo)Carnevale, which means “farewell to meat”, is celebrated throughout the world including in the United States (known as Mardi Gras) and Italy.  Carnevale usually takes pl…

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  • Alan Marro

    Hey Vince…I’m making your lasagna for Christmas day, it closely resembles the recipe from my mom (which I can’t find) Yours looks awesome! Thanks & Merry Christmas!

  • Gloria

    lasagna isn’t hard to make. It is a little time consuming. I always make enough to freeze. If I want meatballs or sausages they are made on the side……