One of the great “family” meals of all time is Lasagna. As a kid, I loved lasagna night, and being able to dig into that baked pile of tomato-y, cheesy, & pasta, along a tasty slice of garlic bread was great. Lasagna is pretty easy to make, and in this recipe video I show you how to make one step by step. Now when I say make one…I mean it, how to make one. This is one version…out of what’s probably hundreds. There’s meat lasagna, vegetable lasagna, there lasagna with pesto sauce, with béchamel sauce…and all the combinations there in. Feel free to experiment with different versions, but most of the fundamentals remain the same…and if you follow those, you’ll end up with something great. Hope you enjoy it!!
Recipe Overview and Keys to Success
To make the best meat lasagna possible, I want you to pay attention to a few things:
- When you boil the pasta sheets, take them out of the water very al dente. They will continue to cook in the lasagna itself, and if you fully cook them ahead of time, they can get mushy on you
- Watch the moisture content of your ingredients. While nobody wants a dry lasagna, if your sauce is too wet, if your vegetables contain a lot of water, the lasagna will end up too wet/runny and will never really set up
- Make sure to let the lasagna sit for a good 15 minutes after taking it out of the oven before you cut into; that gives it time to set and will prevent it from oozing all over
- Balance. You want to make sure the layers of the lasagna are in balance. If you overload on cheese, or pasta, or sauce…it just won’t be right
- Finally, I like to hold back some of the tomato sauce, and serve it on the side along with my lasagna. In the oven, the sauce evaporates some, and I love to have a little extra to work back in as I eat it.
RECIPE FOR MEAT LASAGNA
Ingredients for Meat Lasagna (for 6)
- ~1.5 quarts of Bolognese (meat) sauce
- 1 package of frozen spinach
- 6 – 8 pasta sheets – enough for 2 layers in your baking dish
- 32 ounces of ricotta cheese
- 2 large handfuls of parmesan cheese
- 1 16 ounce package of mozzarella cheese
Making Meat Lasagna
- Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and drop in the pasta sheets. Stir and cook until softened, but not yet al dente
- Heat the meat sauce at the same time
- Remove the spinach from the package and drain it well with paper towels
- Chop the spinach into fine pieces and mix with the ricotta cheese and half the parmesan cheese
- Season the cheese mixture with salt and pepper
- Remove the pasta from the boiling water and drop them into cold water to stop the cooking process. Now it’s time to assemble the lasagna.
- I use a baking dish about 15x9 inches; drizzle the bottom with olive oil to coat
- Start with a thin layer of the Bolognese sauce
- Then lay down a single layer of the pasta sheets; season the sheets with salt and pepper
- Put a layer of ricotta cheese mixture down that is 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick, and spread evenly
- Top that layer with a equal amount of Bolognese sauce, and a thin dusting of parmesan cheese
- Add another layer of the pasta, ricotta, sauce and parmesan in the same way (if you have the room you can add yet another layer, but I’m usually at the top of the pan at this point)
- Top with the mozzarella cheese and season with salt and pepper
- Put the whole lasagna into a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the top is browned, and the lasagna is hot and bubbly all the way through. If you need to, you can cover with foil to prevent over browning
- Remove from the oven and let it stand for at least 15 minutes
To serve it, I like to put a little pool of leftover sauce on my plate and then lay a piece of the lasagna right on top. You can then mix is a bit of the extra sauce with each bite as you like. Hope you enjoy it!!