The Ultimate Kitchen Guide: How-Tos, Cooking Tips & Essential Kitchen Knowledge
How to Make the Best Lasagna Recipe
By: Nina Hoffman, RecipeLion.com
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Ever find yourself wondering how to make the best lasagna recipe? If the thought of making the best lasagna recipe might seem a daunting task and a bit intimidating, rest easy in the fact that there are plenty of easy lasagna recipes to choose from and get started.
This handy guide shows you how easy and how much fun it can be to make the best lasagna recipe. It's even more fun when getting children involved, so if you have or know any kidlets who enjoy spending time with in the kitchen, be sure to get them involved too. This "how to make the best lasagna recipe" guide was developed with a 3 1/2-year old helping out in the kitchen, so it promises to be easy to follow and informative.
The first step in learning how to make the best lasagna recipe is to locate your favorite among the easy lasagna recipes out there. We used the fantastic Mangia la Lasagna recipe here on RecipeLion, courtesy of The Handstand Kids Cookbook Company. If possible, start out by putting your child (or the one you borrowed for the occasion) in a cute apron and chef's hat. It just adds to the fun and ambience!
Once you have made your shopping list and ensured all necessary ingredients are in your home, you can begin getting them together. For Mangia la Lasagna, you will need the following:
- 1 package of no-boil lasagna noodles (enough for 1 [9x13-inch] lasagna)
- 2 pounds marinara or meat sauce (Ragu)*
- 8 ounces spinach (see note)
- 15 ounces ricotta
- 1 pound grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese (Parmigiano)
- 1 (9x13-inch) oven safe pan
- 1 large bowl
- 1 wooden spoon
- paper towels
- aluminum foil
Note: This chef's recommendation is to use one box of frozen chopped spinach. Let it thaw on the counter at room temperature for 3-4 hours. Take a large colander and place in the kitchen sink, lining it with 1 or 2 paper towels. Dump the thawed, wet spinach onto the paper towels and fold them over, making a little pouch. If using a child helper, have him get up on a step stool and press down with all his might to squeeze as much water as possible out of the spinach. He can also pick up the paper-towel enclosed spinace and squeeze it with both hands over the colander. The spinach is now ready to be used in step 2 of the instructions below.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Using the wooden spoon, mix the ricotta with the spinach in the large bowl. This is a great child-chef task.
- Pour a thin layer of marinara on the bottom of the oven-safe dish, just enough so that you cannot see the bottom of the dish. We recommend that an adult spoon in the sauce, but the mini-chef can spread it around.
- Place a single layer of lasagna noodles over the sauce. They can overlap slightly.
- Put a layer of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles and use your hands to get even layers. The kids LOVE this part.
- Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella on top. Again, a great task for the littlest chefs. If the sprinkling is not perfectly even, it's fine. The lasagna police will not come to your house and reprimand you.
- Pour on another layer of marinara sauce. Recommended adult task.
- Repeat steps 4 through 7.
- Put another layer of noodles on top and sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella and Parmigiano.
- Pour a thin layer of sauce to completely cover the top layer.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Tent the foil slightly and/or spray the underside lightly with non-stick cooking spray so that it can be removed easily for step 12 without sticking.
- Remove the foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is slightly browned. You may opt to sprinkle on more Parmigiano here, and that's fine. We recommend that an adult do this particular sprinkling, since the pan will be VERY hot.
- Allow the lasagna to cool for about 10 minutes before eating.
So, now you know how to make the best lasagna recipe. Fantastic! Serve it with a bag o'salad (or other veggies) and some store-bought garlic bread and you're all set. Mangia and enjoy!
* If you really want to make this the absolute best lasagna recipe, you can make your own homemade marinara or meat sauce to use in it. Our developers used a homemade meat sauce that was so delicious, it almost got eaten up before it could be used to make the best lasagna recipe here. Watch out for that!
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