Over the years, the grandmother has been the master chef of a family. This thought has proven to be a fact, especially in the Italian cooking of lasagna using grandma’s best lasagna recipe.
This unique magic touch in the kitchen has brought in some of the best cooking recipes for different dishes, mainly the lasagna dish. The grandma’s recipe makes the perfect lasagna dish for either your picnic or home.
What’s in Lasagna?
The lasagna meal features different ingredients and components. These are:
- Layers of tender pasta
- Ground beef
- Creamy mozzarella
- Ricotta cheeses
- Tomato source
Different lasagna recipes contain various lasagna components. Therefore, apart from the ones stated above, there can be more ingredients and features like:
- Homemade tomato sauce
- Lasagna noodles
- Italian sausage
- Parmesan cheese
- Homemade noodles
- Salsa verde
- Mexican crema (sour cream)
- Corn tortillas
- Tubular pasta
- Dried herbs
- Bechamel sauce
The Proud Italian’s Top Lasagna Making Tips
You should follow several tips to add perfection to your homemade lasagna recipes. There is nothing as soothing as the relaxing smell of lasagna being cooked in the oven. Bechamel and the Bolognese sauce are the main lasagna ingredients that team up to make the perfect Italian recipe.
There are also other variations which are in quite a large number. For example, you may choose to use dry pasta, fresh pasta sheets, boil, or no-boil pasta. When cooking lasagna for many people or a large crowd, for example, at a party, a large roasting pan can be of enormous help.
This large pan brings you several advantages in that you may create several layers, and in return, it will be simple to make cuts.
Another tip you should consider for more positive results in preparing your meat sauce earlier than the exact cooking date. The period that you should do this meat source preparation can either be one or two days before.
While cooking, you always make sure that the bottom of the pan is fully covered with the pasta. After achieving that, you should evenly spread the ricotta and meat sauce. The sauce will help ensure complete coverage is achieved due to melting while cooking.
Another tip to apply is keeping your lasagna in the fridge after cooking is done. This move will help maintain freshness for the time in between until you do the final lasagna baking process.
To add up, you should not forget that lasagna is all about putting in some kind of harmony between the layers. Therefore, the flavor of your final lasagna dish corresponds to the texture in it as well.
Below are additional tips that you should follow:
Make the Lasagna Vegetarian
You may think that your lasagna needs to be meaty to bring a strong feeling when eating. But, in a real sense, the addition of vegetables inside the lasagna meal can prove to be hearty.
Therefore, you can improve your lasagna by adding vegetables, sauteed spinach, and kale to the cheese. Of course, you should always make sure that the kale and spinach or the vegetables you are using are correctly chopped during this addition.
Before finishing, you can add squash or eggplant to act as extra seasonal vegetables.
Build Flavor into The Sauce
The whole secret behind the excellent lasagna taste comes from the sauce. This fact proves that despite making your lasagna cheesy and melty with all kinds of layers, if your sauce is not adequately built up, then the lasagna dish will not be as mouth-watering as it should be.
The most common lasagna is traditionally prepared with a special meat sauce known as ragu. This sauce comprises tomato-based meat together with a bit of ground beef. However, instead of using ground beef to make the sauce, you can use Italian sausage or ground pork.
You can try to make your source as lively as possible. You will achieve these results by adding pine nuts, garlicky green pesto, or a white bechamel sauce.
Make Use of the Gluten-Free Noodle
Most grocery stores, physical and online, stock gluten-free noodles for sale. Therefore, it is so easy for you to access them. This kind of noodle will enhance the taste of your lasagna to perfection, thus making it the best lasagna ever.
These tips bring about the best results in preparing a perfect lasagna, be it for a party or just for the average size of your home occupants.
Do You Cook?
Yes, you should cook lasagna before baking it. Cooking is an art, and therefore lasagna meals require a lot from the artistic touch. But on the other hand, you do not need to be perfect in cooking to bring out mouth-watering meals.
This same fact comes through when cooking lasagna dishes. All you need to do is gather some knowledge and tips to follow, just as you are now reading this article.
Best Lasagna Recipe EVER!
There are different Italian lasagna recipes. Most of them contain the famous creamy Bechamel sauce. Despite that, the ultimate best lasagna must have shredded mozzarella, chunks of meat, ricotta cheese in cream, and lastly, tomato sauce. Below is the full recipe for making the best lasagna:
Time: 1hr 45 Minutes
Serving size: 12 Servings
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 60 Minutes
Nutritional Facts/Info Per Serving/in Total:
- 75% Saturated fat: 0.53 ounces (15 grams)
- 66% Sodium: 1576 milligrams
- 30% Potassium: 1041 milligrams
- 55% Cholesterol: 166 milligrams
- 12% Total carbohydrates: 1.2 ounces (35 grams)
- Sugar: 0.4 ounces (11 grams)
- Protein: 1.6 ounces (44 grams)
- 35% Vitamin A
- 53% Calcium
- 26% Iron
- 25% Vitamin C
- 16% Dietary Fiber: 0.14 ounces (3.9 grams)
- Mixing bowl
- Enameled baking dish
- Box grater (for shredding cheese)
- Serving spatula
- 4 teaspoons of minced garlic
- ½ Pound (0.23 kilograms) of ground beef chunks
- ¼ Cup of virgin oil
- ½ Teaspoon of crushed red pepper
- ½ Teaspoon of dried crumbled oregano
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2, 28-ounce (1586-gram) cans of special Italian tomatoes that are peeled (You should finely chop them with their juices intact)
- 2 cups of chicken stock or broth with less sodium.
- 1, 28-ounce (793 grams) of tomato puree
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pinch of sugar
- 11/2 Pounds (2.5 kilograms) of sweet Italian sausage (with their casings removed)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 pounds (0.91 kilograms) of fresh ricotta
- ¼ Cup of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ½ Cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons of correctly chopped basil
- 12 dried lasagna noodles
- 1 large beaten egg
- Heat your olive oil using a large enameled cast-iron casserole.
- Add the ground beef chunks and cook steadily by using moderately high heat.
- Help in breaking up the chunks of meat while cooking. Make sure that no pink remains.
- Add in crushed pepper, garlic, oregano, and cook till you notice a sweet fragrance.
- Add in tomato paste and stir gently. After this addition, leave it to cook until the meat is adequately coated.
- Take tomato puree together with the chicken stock, sugar, thyme, bay leaves, and tomato juices and add them all.
- Add some seasoning using pepper and salt and boil.
- Using moderate heat, simmer while occasionally stirring. You should perform the stirring until it thickens and reduces to around 8 cups.
- After 1 hour, take out the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
- Heat a large skillet.
- Add large pieces of sausage meat.
- Cook over moderately high heat until the meat turns brown. This section can take about 10 minutes.
- Drain the sausage and break it into ½-inch (1.27-centimeter) pieces.
- Mix up parsley with the ricotta together in a large bowl.
- Add up ¼ cup of Parmesan and basil to the mixture.
- In addition, put in ⅔ of shredded mozzarella and occasionally add in some salt for seasoning.
- Add in beaten egg.
- Using a large pot of boiling water, cook the lasagna noodles.
- Add some salt to the water and stir it up occasionally.
- Drain off the noodles and rinse under cold water.
- Using paper towels, dry up the noodles by placing them in-between.
- Heat the oven to about 707 degrees Fahrenheit (375 degrees Celsius).
- Spread 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of your baking dish.
- Create four overlapping noodles in an aligning manner.
- Spread ½ of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.
- Add a topping of one-half of the sausage.
- Add 1½ cups of sauce together with four noodles.
- Repeat this kind of layering with the remainder of the ricotta, sauce, and sausage.
- Top with four noodles and cover with 1½ cups of sauce.
- Take the remaining one cup of mozzarella with the remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan and 1½ cup of sauce and sprinkle over the lasagna.
- Spend 45 minutes baking the lasagna. Make sure the top is crispy and golden after you complete baking.
- Rest up the final lasagna dish for 20 minutes before serving.
What Does Lasagna Mean
Lasagna is an Italian word that simply means pasta cut in long wide strips. Therefore, a dish that cuts the pasta into long wide strips is called lasagna.
You can also say that lasagna means a dish consisting of ground meat, tomato sauce, pasta, and cheese all baked together.
The city of Naples is the cradle of lasagna. Lasagna was invented in Naples during the very early middle ages.
The very 1st glimpse of lasagna came clear around the 14th century. This fact was spotted in a particular cookbook. This book explained a specific meal with no tomatoes but made with several layers of pasta.
After some time, another lasagna recipe was discovered in another Italian cookbook. This lasagna discovery took place around the 1880s. This time the recipe was a little bit special in that it now featured the addition of tomato sauce to the required ingredients.
After some time, this meal grew to become the traditional lasagna of Naples. Due to this evolution, it was given the name Lasagna di Carnevale.
By that time, the now new lasagna di Carnevale was being made with the addition of hard-boiled eggs, mozzarella or ricotta, local Italian sausage, Neapolitan Ragu, and fried meatballs. Several variations of lasagna started to add up with time. One of these variations was called Lasagna al Forno.
This other variation originated from the region of Emilia Romagna in Italy. This lasagna was made using thick Ragu, mozzarella or ricotta, bechamel sauce, green pasta sheets, oregano, and spinach. This lasagna variation also proved to be quite remarkable due to the addition of wine to the ingredients.
As time passed, different Italian regions started using other ingredients and sauces for their lasagna cooking. For example, the Piedmont region brought in Lasagna al Sangue. This particular variation came by due to the addition of raw blood from a slaughtered pig.
Lasagna and Naples
There is quite a significant relationship between lasagna and the region of Naples. Though sometimes it is argued that Naples is not the cradle of lasagna, there is ample evidence that lasagna came from Naples.
Naples is special because it featured a lot of improvement in the lasagna recipe. For example, after the lasagna arrived in Naples, it was considered a unique symbol of Italy that everyone knows today.
This fact came to be due to adding tomato sauce and other unique ingredients to the lasagna recipe. These few facts clarify a unique relationship between Naples and Lasagna because it was in Naples that the best lasagna recipe was made.
Why is Eating Lasagna Good for You?
The nutritional content found in the lasagna dish is unmeasurable. However, the meal has a lot of nutritional content, which benefits the consumer.
Carbohydrates or foods rich in carbohydrates never tasted so good in the past. But lasagna, on the other hand, has a significant content of carbohydrates. These results prove to be so opposite from the everyday carbohydrate-rich foods since lasagna is mouth-watering.
Therefore, if you are among those who miss out on carbohydrates due to lack of consumption of the other carbohydrate-rich ‘boring’ foods, then lasagna is your ultimate way to go.
The lasagna meal will prevent you from lacking the energy that your body requires. This energy mainly comes from carbohydrates. Therefore, lasagna has got you fully covered when it comes to that fact. The lasagna meal also contains several other nutrients that are good for your health. These nutrients are:
Fats and Proteins
Your body cannot do without amino acids. The amino acids come by when your body breaks down protein. Therefore the lasagna dish comes in here and plays a critical role.
Lasagna contains a lot of proteins that come from cheese and meat. 0.21 to 0.28 ounces (6 to 8 grams) of protein are obtained in every ounce (28.3 grams) of cheese and meat. These two components contain a lot of saturated fat. Therefore, do not add them in large quantities.
Lasagna dishes can also help in stabilizing your body sugar. This result comes to be when you replace the white noodles with wheat noodles. You can add this noodle replacement to your homemade lasagna recipe.
Plenty of vegetables in the lasagna dish increase fiber to your body when consumed. The fiber enhances the digestion of your alimentary canal due to an increase in roughage.
The use of low-fat cheese in lasagna reduces other health risks like obesity. These facts make the lasagna dish very friendly to your health.
Minerals and Vitamins
The lasagna dish is full of vitamins. One of the most common vitamins here is vitamin B. These vitamins enhance your body’s natural metabolism.
For proper blood circulation, your body needs a lot of iron. The beef found in your lasagna contains a lot of this iron. In addition, red pepper aids in adding vitamins C and A. The vegetables that are used in preparing lasagna contain more other vitamins.
Therefore the lasagna meal serves as the best choice when your body requires a type of food with many vitamins.
The mouth-watering lasagna dish may be a challenge to prepare for beginners. But do not let the final product fool you. The crispy and delicious-looking lasagna may look so attractive that you may think it was prepared using some kind of magic.
But through the above procedures and steps, you have seen that making this kind of lasagna dish is not that complicated. So all you should do is follow some simple steps.
When you use the correct lasagna ingredients and follow the proper preparations, you will end up with the best ever lasagna.
This article reduces your learning duration for cooking lasagna by giving you grandma’s best lasagna recipe. So use the above guidelines carefully and unlock yourself to the world of the best taste of home lasagna.