Best Italian Lasagna – Giada De Laurentiis!
For the recipe shown in the above video, here is a list of the ingredients you will need. Although it is quite an extensive list, the end result is well worth the extra ingredients!
Simple Tomato Sauce:
For complete preparation instructions, you can either refer to the video above or you can access written instructions here!
We have also included some helpful tips to baking up the best batch of lasagna you have ever had!
Tips for Making the Best Lasagna: Easy Steps to Follow
In order to ensure that your lasagna recipe is perfect every time, what can you do to make sure it turns out well? Our team is here to help you.
There are many reasons why lasagna might be the perfect dish, such as the fact that it is a rich comfort dish that is perfect for holiday dinners, new baby meal trains, welcome-to-the-neighborhood gifts, or simply an indulgent Sunday dinner.
While casseroles excel in simplicity, this 9×13 pan is packed with complications: you could end up with noodles that are too crisp or too mushy, a sauce that is too soupy or too sparse, or a combination of all that can go wrong.
Choosing the right ingredients is the first step
- Beef only is definitely not the best. There are many people who use ground beef in their spaghetti sauce, but for lasagna, pork (or sausage) is your best friend: a beef-and-pork combination is especially flavorful. A 1:1 part ratio works great (in other words, equal portions of pork/sausage and ground beef).
- If possible, use whole milk mozzarella and ricotta cheese when making this recipe. There is no substitute for freshness. It is okay to use part-skim milk, but it will be blander. And lasagna is not something that lends itself well to weight loss and cutting calories.
- Add a layer of richness to your lasagna by layering it with some béchamel sauce, which results in a lasagna that is simply dreamy, with a layer of richness that cuts the tangy tang of the tomato sauce.
- Although store-bought tomato sauce works great, you can go an extra step and make your own tomato sauce. Here is a recipe for homemade tomato sauce.
Assemble Lasagna With Care and the Proper Tools
- Make sure you invest in a good lasagna pan, one that has a minimum depth of 3 inches, so that the top layer of your lasagna does not bubble over the edge of the pan and onto the bottom of your oven. This Dowan lasagna pan (this is an Amazon Associate link) measures 13 x 9 x 3 inches deep!
- To prevent your pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan when you put the first layer of pasta on, make sure you put a little sauce down first in the pan.
- Start layering. The bottom of the pan should be coated with an even layer of sauce. The noodles should then be layered on top of the sauce, followed by a third of your cheese mixture, then more sauce. Repeat until you’ve reached the top.
- It is important to cover the final (top) layer of pasta in sauce completely in order to prevent the pasta from becoming brittle. There should be some shredded cheese blanketed over the top of the dish.
The Cooking and Resting Process
- You will need to cover this dish with foil before baking (usually at 375 degrees F for an hour), then remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes in order to make the cheese golden brown on top.
- It is recommended that you let your dish sit for ten minutes after removing it from the oven, so the layers will not slide apart as soon as you cut into it.
Know Where to Draw the Line
- Do not bother with fresh pasta, it is not worth the trouble. There’s a lot of extra work involved with no obvious payoff given the fact that fresh pasta sheets baked into all these layers can sometimes become too mushy as a result of these layers. It is great to use no-bake noodles here (just make sure that you use plenty of sauce, since they will soak up as much sauce as they can) and dried-then-boiled lasagna sheets will do as well.
- I would like to point out here that, even though we’re big fans of sneaking veggies into your kids’ dinner, you need to be careful how much you add to a good lasagna recipe. If you use watery vegetables, such as mushrooms, squash, and spinach, then your lasagna may be soupy and slide off the spatula the moment that it leaves the pan. It may be a good idea to sauté the veggies first and then drain off the excess liquid, if you really want to up the vegetables.