How to Make a Simple Lasagna at Home
I call this basic recipe "Lasagna - One Two Three" for three reasons.
- It's as easy as one-two-three to make.
- It's just as easy to make three at a time so you can eat one now and freeze the other two for another time.
- It is delicious!
Lasagna is one of those dishes that I think always taste better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld together. In fact, I usually cook one of the lasagnas the night before I plan to serve it.
And you should see my 16 month old daughter scarf it down. She loves it.
The most time consuming aspect of preparing these lasagnas besides prepping ingredients is assembly. It's much more fun to work with a friend or a spouse when putting the lasagna together.
You might want to think of it as an assembly line where each of you is responsible for particular ingredients.
The Most Basic Lasagna You Can Make
This recipe is for the most basic lasagna you can make. This should be your starting point and you would add on from here. For example, this recipe calls for a basic tomato sauce.
Or maybe you prefer a vegetarian lasagna like Spinach & Roasted Pepper Lasagna. The number of variations is endless and makes for another "clean out your fridge" recipes.
The lasagna noodles can be dried, fresh, or the no boil variety. I prefer the no boil type because it reduces the preparation time and with two kids, anything to save time and not lose quality is a bonus.
If you can find fresh mozzarella cheese and can afford it, well it will only add to the flavor.
Same with the Parmesan cheese. Freshly grated is better than the processed stuff you can buy at the supermarket. As with any recipe, the better the ingredients the better the outcome, but this is a dish you can cheat a little.
If you make a great sauce and can't find fresh mozzarella, don't worry about it. If you used canned sauce but have some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano the lasagna will come out fine.
How can it not with all the wonderful ingredients that go into this dish?
You will want to find three of those square aluminum disposable pans approximately 8x8x2 inch in size. Makes storing and cleaning a breeze.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F and if you are using standard lasagna noodles, bring a pot of water to boil to cook them.
- In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, Parmesan cheese, and ricotta cheese and season with salt, pepper, and spices.
- Lightly coat the bottom of each pan with oil. (I like to use spray olive oil for this job)
- Add a little sauce to coat the bottoms. This is especially important if you are using the no-boil noodles because the sauce will help them cook.
- There are no hard and fast rules about the order you add ingredients, but it's basically adding a layer of pasta, some of the ricotta cheese mixture, more sauce, another layer of pasta, some mozzarella cheese, some more ricotta cheese mixture, more sauce and so on until you run out of ingredients.The ingredients will settle a little bit when you bake the lasagna so build right to the top. Make sure you finish with sauce and if you have any left over, save it for when you are serving.
- Cover each pan with some aluminum foil and bake for about 35 to 45 minutes until the center of the lasagna is hot, the cheese is melted, the edges are crisp, and your kitchen smells heavenly.