Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How to Make Lasagna

I’m pretty flexible when it comes to lasagna fillings. I like there to be plenty of cheese and tomato sauce, but other than that, the choices are wide open.

The basic elements for lasagna are:
1) SAUCE, supplemented with any combination of meat/veggies
2) An egg/cheese CREAMY component
3) A melty cheese like MOZZARELLA
4) PASTA (store-bought or homemade)

Since most of the ingredients are cooked ahead of time, your main goal is for the noodles to become soft (if not cooked already) and the layers to set. This requires having the right amount of liquid in there that is going to bubble up and seep through all the layers. At least, that’s the way I think of it.

-1 jar basic tomato/spaghetti sauce
-1 lb. ground beef or pork (or shredded chicken)
-2 cloves garlic
-1 red onion
-veggies (carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, squash, mushrooms, olives…use your imagination)
-your favorite Italian herbs
(Creamy component)
-Some kind of cream cheese or ricotta or cottage
-1 Egg
-Spinach ( optional; I don’t use it because it’s scarce)
 Melty Cheese
-Mozzarella, Swiss, whatever
-2 c flour
-2 eggs
-2 tbl olive oil
-2 tbl water
-herbs (optional)

1)    If using homemade noodles, mix dough, roll very thin and cut into wide strips (or use pasta maker); let dry for 30-60 min.
2)    Meanwhile, brown meat and drain; sauté onion and garlic separately; sauté veggies separately;  add basil, marjoram, pepper, oregano, salt; combine and add sauce; simmer…
3)    Mix 1 beaten egg with fresh grated parmesan cheese, oregano, and 1 package of ricotta or cream cheese.
4)    Grate/slice your mozzarella.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

-Creamy mixture
-Creamy mixture

-use whatever numbers of layers fits, but there should be sauce on the top and bottom in order for everything else to get moist enough, and pasta every few layers to give it structure
-bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted

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