Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mama's Lasagana, Easier Than You Think!

I personally (1) know a lot of people who are intimidated by making lasagna, and (2) know a lot of people who screw up lasagna on a regular basis. Ever had lasagna soup? That mushy, oozy, runny, excuse of lasagna? Probably.

We all know that person who thinks they can cook, has big dinner parties, then forces what ever ill-conceived culinary abomination they've envisioned down the throats of their hesitant but polite group of friends.

You don't want to be that person, so let's begin.

You will need:
  • Sauce, THE MOST IMPORANT part of any Italian dish. Make it meaty, veggie, whatever. You can even try my recipe here. It's a little dated, but still holds strong.
  • 8 oz. of Ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz. of Mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded
  • 16 oz. box of no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 egg 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. The most important first step is DO NOT BOIL THE NOODLES. This is the number one cause of lasagna soup. The extra moisture from the noodles seeps out during the baking process and turns the sauce watery. Gross.

Mix the Ricotta cheese with 1 egg. In a big baking dish, 9x13 inches, something along those lines, start with a layer of sauce that's about 1/2 inch thick. Next cover the sauce in a layer of lasagna noodles. Make them fit, but don't overlap. Then comes the Ricotta, spread 1/2 cup across the noodles. You can use a little bit more but not too much, you don't want the ingredients to overflow. Now cover the Ricotta with a layer of Mozzarella. Again, don't use too much or it will become too chewy. Back to sauce and repeat!

Remember to leave about 1/2 - 1 inch of room in the baking dish and cover it with tin foil. Just in case it does overflow, put a cookie sheet under it in the over. Bake for 25 minutes with the foil on, then remove foil and bake for another 15minutes.

Stick a fork in it! If it's done, the fork should go right through the gooey cheese and tender noodles. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes to solidify. Enjoy with some delicious garlic bread and a salad!



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