Best lasagne recipe?
What is the most fool proof lasagne recipe that you have ever tried? I love lasagne, but it can be so inconsistent sometimes...a little too watery, the pasta not the right texture, etc. I would love to hear about what works best for you.
What has worked best for me, believe it or not, is to use the store-brand lasagna noodles UNCOOKED. To do this, you should thin out your sauce a little, and use just slightly extra sauce. Normally I put 1.5 ladles per layer. Make sure that sauce is the first layer, then the noodles, and all of your lasagna-ey goodness. Be sure not to overlap the noodles, but butt them side-by-side. Then cook it covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 30 minutes.
I know I will be taken to task for this suggestion, and I am sure that my 100% Italian grandmother (from Naples!) is spinning in her grave right now. (PSST-don't tell her I dont use hard-boiled eggs in my layers!)
I like using fresh spinach pasta sheets, which I blanch for all of 30 seconds, layered with bechamel, bolognese and parmigiano cheese. However, if you're not not making your own pasta I would recommend using regular store-bought lasagna sheets (not the no-boil stuff). Even with those, it's up to you whether to boil them or not. For a slightly softer lasagna, let them cook in boiling water for 1-2 minutes then shock in ice water. With an uncooked lasagna sheet, it'll soften if you have enough sauce, but it can remain more al dente (which not everyone likes in a lasagna).
In either event, pasta, bechamel, bolognese (you can put another layer of pasta between these sauces, depending on how noodly you like your lasagna), parmigiano, repeat until dish is full. Cover with bechamel (or a combo of bolognese and bechamel) and tons of parm.
Note, this is the northern italian Lasagna Bolognese version. For a Neopolitan version, I use a ragu napoletano, and ricotta. No bechamel....
I agree with Keith. I think the best lasagna recipe (and the only one I regularly make) is Giuliano Bugiali's recipe in his book "Fine Art of Italian Cooking".
It uses fresh pasta, a bolognese (no milk or tomato sauce, but with multiple meats, porcini, and tomato paste), and a bechamel. The cheese layer is a mix of mozzarella and parmagiano. There is no ricotta. In his recipe you alternate layers of sauce with pasta (e.g. bolognese, pasta, bechamel, pasta) -- which works well as long as the pasta sheets are thin.
Totally inauthentic recipe but if that's ok with you, Pioneer Woman's lasagna is delicious. Not very tomato-y but, for my tastes, that was perfect.
My sister made it a couple weeks ago and 6 adults basically devoured the panful.
I looked up the recipe and, as I found out last night, the only change my sister made was to use quality parmesan cheese, and not the Kraft canister stuff.
I usually wing it. Bechamel, Spag Sauce, Italian sausage (homemade) and/or ground beef, parm, mozz, ricotta, eggs, noodles, and so on. I don't think I've ever used a recipe. Sometimes I skip the meat, sometimes I make the spag sauce or sometimes use the jar (usually Muir Glen) or sometimes just seasoned tomatoes, sometimes I add spinach or other vegetables, etc.
I don't think I've ever used a recipe. I don't care for cottage cheese in mine; it reminds me too much of my mother's tasteless-except-for-salt watery stuff.
EDIT: Yes, I know this is not "authentic Italian" - but it IS "authentic Italian/American" !
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