Monday, October 13, 2008

Classic Lasagna

You can do many variations, but you can't beat the classic. It's sort of the standard against which all others are compared. Add meat, or spinach, or sausage, but my favorite is the original. Lots of sauce, lots of cheese, warm and comforting. You may layer your lasagna differently, but this is how I do mine.
I think it's the best!

2 lbs ricotta cheese
2 eggs
a handful of Parmesan cheese
fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
tomato sauce, store bought or your own
1 box of lasagna noodles
shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. To assemble lasagna, make a total of 3 layers in this order: Sauce, noodles, sauce, ricotta mixture, sauce, mozzarella cheese. Have I mentioned that I like a lot of sauce? Well, like my Mom always said, if you like a lot, add a lot. After you finish assembling, cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes to an hour or until bubbly. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before you cut into squares.

You can boil the noodles before assembling your layers, but you really don't have to, as long as you add a sufficient amount of sauce for the noodles to cook. Ok here's a really good tip.....You know how sometimes the top layer slides off when you cut a square of lasagna? Well, the way to prevent that from happening is to change the direction of the noodles when you layer them. So, when you do the first layer, place the noodles in the pan long ways. But when you do the second layer, break the noodles in half and layer them ACROSS the pan, perpendicular to the previous layer. Then do the last layer the same way you did the first layer. The layers are now locked together and your lasagna won't fall apart!
Pretty clever, huh?

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