First Time Ever: Lasagna

I’ve been wanting to try making lasagna for a while now, because it’s delicious but also because it easily freezes and then reheats so I can make one big batch and have it as a go-to for a meal. I’ve never actually made lasagna before, but I finally tried it out! I researched some different basics of lasagna making and then just went for it.

The research:

  • Basic Lasagna RecipeMost helpful part: the note about letting lasagna rest after it’s done so that it doesn’t fall apart.
  • Tip for preparing noodlesMost helpful part: the whole thing! How to make the noodles soft enough without dealing with a sticky mess.
  • Tips for freezing lasagna – Most helpful part: covers how to freeze baked and unbaked lasagna.

Off we go.

What you need:

12 lasagna noodles

A 15 oz container of ricotta cheese

 6 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

 4 oz grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

1 sweet onion, diced

24 oz jar of traditional pasta sauce (more if you want it more saucy)

1 pound of ground turkey

Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic salt, and oregano, to taste

Aviary Photo_130680070221710052

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Follow the directions from this article to prepare your noodles. They can sit in the water until you’re ready to assemble.

In a saucepan, brown the meat. When it’s almost fully cooked, add the onion and cook until the onions start to become clear. Add the jar of pasta sauce and the seasonings. Let simmer until ready to assemble.

In a separate bowl, combine half of the mozzarella, the whole ricotta container, and the Parmesan with the chopped spinach and an egg. Add salt and pepper.

Set up your station – noodles, sauce, and cheese. Put a small amount of sauce on the bottom of your 9 x 13 baking dish. Place 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread some of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles, then cover with a thin layer of sauce. Repeat this process until you have used all the ingredients except a little sauce (I stacked mine 4 layers high). On the top layer, cover with whatever is left of the sauce (it won’t be much) and the rest of the shredded mozzarella that wasn’t in the cheese mixture.

Cover the lasagna with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake again for another 15 minutes to let the cheese melt and slightly brown. After removing from the oven, let the lasagna sit for ten minutes or so to set. Serve!

Aviary Photo_130680070944397735

Pro Tips

  • My lasagna noodles weren’t quite long enough to cover 13″, so I had a small gap in my dish that I filled with a rolled up piece of tin foil.
  • This tasted amazing reheated, one of the few dishes you can say that with. So if you make it ahead and then reheat it in the oven, it will still be delicious
  • I added the egg because a few different recipes I had looked at included one. It may not be necessary, but it helped make the cheese mixture easily spreadable.
  • Some recipes recommended alternating the direction of the noodles each layer, but mine were longer than 9″ and I didn’t want to break them. I didn’t experience any difficulty with cutting or falling apart, because I let my lasagna sit after I took it out of the oven.
  • This is a budget dinner dream. One lasagna fed my husband and I at four separate meals! (Twice for dinner, twice for lunch)

My results were great! Have you made lasagna? What have you done to make it your own?

Lydia Jane

In my kitchen:

Pyrex Easy Grab 9 x 13

Le Creuset Spatula – sold by Amazon

Stainless steel mixing bowls

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s