TIPS TO MAKE THE BEST LASAGNA
1. Do not overcook the noodles – The first and most important step of preparing any lasagna recipe is to cook the noodles well. Noodles are an extremely important ingredient of the lasagna and if you over or under cook it then your lasagna recipe is bound to fail. Boiling the noodles for 4-5 minutes is enough for them to be adequately cooked.
2. Strain the ricotta cheese to avoid the runniness – Nobody likes a runny lasagna and there are two reasons which cause the runniness of it. One is if you cut it too quickly and the other is if you haven’t strained the ricotta cheese properly. Strain it for up to 24 hours with the cheese cloth before you layer up the baked pasta.
3. Do not forget to cover and then uncover – You must cover the lasagna before you put it for baking because if you leave it uncovered in the oven, it will dry up. Once your lasagna is cooked halfway through, remove the foil
PERFECT LASAGNA RECIPES
1. White cheese chicken lasagne
- Lasagna noodles – 9
- Parmesan cheese (grated) – 1 cup
- Butter – ½ cup
- Onion (chopped) – 1
- Garlic clove (minced) – 1
- All-purpose flour – ½ cup
- Chicken broth – 2 cups
- Milk – 1 ½ cups
- Shredded mozzarella cheese – 4 cups
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Dried basil – 1 tsp
- Dried oregano – 1 tsp
- Ground black pepper – ½ tsp
- Ricotta cheese – 2 cups
- Cooked chicken meat (cubed) – 2 cups
- Spinach (chopped, thawed, and drained) – 283 g
- Fresh parsley (chopped) – 1 tbsp.
- Grated parmesan cheese for topping – ¼ cup
- First preheat the oven to 175-degrees C.
- Take a large pot, add water and salt and bring it to a boil.
- Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Then drain, and rinse with cold water.
- Take a large saucepan and melt butter in it over medium heat.
- Cook the onion and garlic in the butter until tender, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the flour and salt, and simmer until bubbly.
- Mix in the broth and milk, and boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Add 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and stir to combine with the mixture.
- Season with the basil, oregano, and ground black pepper.
- Remove from heat, and set aside.
- To combine the lasagne, first spread 1/3 of the sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Then layer with 1/3 of the noodles, the ricotta, and the chicken.
- Arrange 1/3 of the noodles over the chicken, and layer with 1/3 of the sauce mixture, spinach, and the remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Arrange remaining noodles over cheese, and spread remaining sauce evenly over noodles.
- Sprinkle with parsley and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
2. The ultimate vegetable lasagne
- Extra-virgin olive oil – 2 tbsp.
- Carrots (chopped) – 3 (1 cup)
- Red bell pepper (chopped) – 1
- Zucchini (chopped) – 1 medium
- Yellow onion (chopped) – 1 medium
- Salt – ¼ tsp
- Baby spinach – 170 g
- Low-fat cottage cheese – 2 cups
- Salt – ¼ tsp
- Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- Lasagna noodles – 9
- Mozzarella cheese – 2 cups
For the sauce:
- Diced tomatoes – 800 g
- Roughly chopped fresh basil – ¼ cup
- Extra virgin olive oil – 2 tbsp.
- Minced garlic – 2 cloves
- Salt – ½ tsp.
- Red pepper flakes – ¼ tsp
- First preheat the oven to 218-degree C.
To prepare the veggies:
- Take a large skillet, add olive oil and warm over medium heat.
- Once shimmering, add the carrots, bell pepper, zucchini, yellow onion, and salt.
- Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the veggies are golden on the edges, about 8 to 12 minutes.
- Then add a few large handfuls of spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted, stirring in between. Repeat with the remaining cheese as well.
To prepare the tomato sauce:
- Pour the tomatoes into a mesh sieve and drain off the excess juice for a minute.
- Then, transfer the drained tomatoes into the food processor.
- Add the basil, olive oil, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes.
- Blend the mixture about 10 times, until the tomatoes have broken down to an easily spreadable consistency.
To prepare the lasagna:
- Pour half of the cottage cheese (1 cup) into the processor and blend it until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Take a large mixing bowl and transfer into it.
- Also transfer the cooked veggies and spinach mixture to the food processor.
- Blend for about 5-7 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to whipped cottage cheese.
- Top with the remaining cottage cheese, then add ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt (to taste) and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
- Stir to combine.
To assemble the lasagne:
- Spread ½ cup tomato sauce evenly over the bottom of a 9” by 9” baking dish.
- Layer 3 lasagna noodles on top.
- Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture evenly over the noodles.
- Top with ¾ cup tomato sauce, then sprinkle ½ cup shredded cheese on top.
- Top with 3 more noodles, followed by the remaining cottage cheese mixture.
- Sprinkle ½ cup shredded cheese on top.
- Top with last 3 noodles, then spread ¾ cup tomato sauce over the top to evenly cover the noodles.
- Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup shredded cheese.
- Wrap a sheet of parchment paper around the top of the lasagne, or cover the lasagna with aluminum foil, but don’t let the foil touch the cheese.
- Bake, covered, for 18 minutes, then remove the cover, rotate the pan by 180° and continue cooking for about 10 to 12 more minutes, until the top is turning spotty brown.
- Remove from oven and let the lasagna cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle additional basil over the top, then slice and serve.