Few meals are as comforting as a hearty homemade lasagna. Master some basic techniques, and this impressive casserole will become an especially versatile favorite for family-style dining and entertaining. While the traditional baked pasta dish is made up of alternating layers of Bolognese sauce, thin sheets of pasta, and béchamel, the layers, fillings, and variations are infinite. Take inspiration from these recipes, and use the tips below to make the dishes your own.
For Meat Lovers
Three-Cheese Lasagna with Italian Sausage
Super-Fast Spinach, Pesto and Cheese Lasagna
Tempting Twists & Cannelloni
Lasagne Rolls with Roasted Tomato and Eggplant
Variations on the Classic
Greek-Style Lamb and Eggplant Lasagne
Perfectly Cooked Pasta
The term "lasagna" actually refers to the wide flat sheets of pasta. Precook your lasagna by boiling just until it's almost al dente. Run it under cold water quickly to stop it from cooking further, and then lay it out flat in single layers on paper towels to cool and dry. If you do not wish to precook the pasta, use no-boil lasagna sheets.
Putting Everything Together
Lay out all of the ingredients, and cook the various sauces and fillings while precooking the pasta. Before assembling, spray the casserole dish with nonstick spray to ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom. The first layer should be sauce, then pasta, then cheese, and so on, repeating in that order until you have run out or filled the dish.
Baking It All Up
Cover the dish tightly with foil so that heat is trapped and everything cooks through. Remove the foil only for the last 10 to 15 minutes so that the cheese can bubble and brown.
Lasagna is a great make-ahead dish and only gets better as the layers and flavors have a chance to blend together. Make it on the weekend, wrap securely, and freeze in anticipation of a day when you will want a warm, hearty meal but won't have time to cook.
Heather Tyree joined Epicurious after attending the Institute of Culinary Education and working in the renowned kitchens of New York 's Daniel and Perry St. Born in New York , Tyree grew up mainly abroad, both in Europe and Asia , where she acquired not only a permanent sense of wanderlust but a great curiosity for and love of other cultures and cuisines. Before deciding to pursue her lifelong interest in all things food related, she studied History at Yale and survived a two-and-a-half-year stint in finance.
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