Making Lasagna at Home
There is something special about lasagna that entices almost all of us. It is rather easy to make, fun to eat, feeds a lot of people at once, it freezes well, and can be reheated without loss of flavor. Yeah, lasagna is awesome! If you’ve never tried making it at home, you could probably give it a go; as we said, it’s not very difficult to make. To help set you on your way, here’s a basic recipe for a non-vegetarian lasagna dish.
P.S. – The main feature is the sauce, so you can surf around the net or play by your rules and make your own favorite sauce. Just remember that it has to be thick enough, and you can make it the way you like.
For the Sauce
- Olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground meat (replace it with vegetables if you want)
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/2 large bell pepper diced
- 2 minced cloves of garlic
- 1 can/carton (small) of tomato paste (available in the market)
- 1 crushed tomato
- 2 tbsp. of fresh oregano or 2 tsp. of dried oregano
- 1/4 cup of fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp. of Italian Seasoning
- Pinch of garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
For the Lasagna
- dry lasagna noodles (about 9)
- 15 ounces of Ricotta cheese
- 24 ounces of grated or sliced mozzarella cheese
- 4 ounces of fresh grated parmesan cheese
Directions for Preparation
- First put a pot of salted water on the stove to get the pasta water started. It will take some time to boil, so you can work on your sauce in the meanwhile.
- In a skillet, put in the olive oil and brown the meat on medium high heat and remove.
- Cooke the onions and bell pepper till the pepper is soft and the onion translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Then add the browned meat to the pan, mix, lower the heat, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Move it to a pot and add the tomato ingredients.
- Add the parsley, oregano, Italian seasonings, and garlic powder (to taste)
- Sprinkle the vinegar. Keep tasting after each added ingredient. One variation involves adding a little sugar, depending on the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Add salt, keeping in mind that the parmesan you will be adding later will also be salty.
- As soon as the pasta water starts boiling, put in the lasagna noodles and cook as per the instructions on the package.
- Keep stirring the noodles to make sure they don’t stick, and maintain a rolling boil for the water.
- When done, strain the noodles, rinse with cold water, and separate any that stick.
- Spread the noodles on a sheet and put on a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
Directions for Assembling and Baking the Lasagna
- Take a lasagna dish and ladle in about a cup of sauce into it. Spread the sauce over the bottom.
- Arrange a layer of pasta noodles over the sauce. It should take about three to cover it up; the edges may be allowed to overlap if necessary.
- Ladle one-third on the remaining sauce over the noodle layer and spread.
- Sprinkle one-third of the mozzarella on top, evenly.
- Add half of the ricotta cheese. You can place dollops of it in every few inches.
- Sprinkle parmesan over the ricotta.
- Cover with another layer on noodles as before.
- Add another layer of sauce (half of the remaining sauce) and then of half of the remaining ricotta and another layer of parmesan.
- Another layer of noodles, and then the remaining sauce and the remaining mozzarella over it.
- Tent the dish with aluminum foil, making sure it doesn’t touch the noodles or the sauce.
- Bake the dish at 375 F for about 45 minutes and cool before you serve it.
Your lasagna dish is ready to eat or to store, whatever you feel like it.
Now while all this effort sounds lovely, but there will be days when you’ll want to bite into your favorite lasagna without the hard work. For that, you can always head out to a restaurant. Some of the top Delhi NCR restaurants serving lasagna include:
- Diva Italian, GK 2
- Moets Shack, Defense Colony
- Sevilla – The Claridges, Aurangzeb Road
- Olive Bistro and Bar, Cyber City
- Diggin, Anand Lok
- Spago Italiano, GK 1