Perfect lasagna is based on many things and one of them is having the pasta just right, leading to questions about how to keep lasagna noodles soft on top. Most of us are familiar with the old standby answers like verifying the pasta has sauce on it and that is certainly a good tip. The clue is making sure the sauce has enough liquid in it to avoid it absorbing the liquid from the lasagna noodles and drying them out.
Make sure that the top noodles are tucked into the sides of the lasagna pan, because exposed edges will dry out, crisp and burn. This often happens when you use wavy noodles, so take special care to check on the placement.
Brush a bit of oil on the side of the lasagna noodle that will be facing up to keep them from drying out. Cheese contains oil and that will help keep the noodles soft on top. Of course, there are other suggestions, such as covering with foil and the way you cook the pasta.
Some like to place uncooked noodles into the dish and let the pasta bake as the sauce and ingredients heat and generate liquid and flavor. Another method is partially cooking the noodles a few at a time in salted water at a rolling boil.
The trick is to cook them one minute, remove with a strainer and plunge them into ice water for 45 seconds, after which they are lifted out and set on paper towels to drain. It takes a while to get all the noodles prepared, but while they are in the oven baking, they will absorb the liquids from the sauce and get soft as they cook.
More Toppings for Lasagna
Some people like to heap plenty of grated cheese on top of their lasagna and then other ingredients too. The volume of cheese ensures the lasagna noodles on top will remain moist and soft, and adds a lovely creamy finish too.
Try cutting a fresh tomato into very thin slices and arranging them over the top of your lasagna, or crisscross some strips of ham over the top for a nice lattice finish, before you bake the lasagna.
If you are making a seafood lasagna you could arrange canned anchovies on top. Keep the rest of the seafood inside the lasagna though, else you risk drying it out. Anchovies are coated in oil so they will not dry out.
Interesting Topping Ideas
You do not have to top your lasagna with anything but if you want to know how to keep lasagna noodles soft on top, then using a topping certainly helps. Some people even suggest spreading refrigerated biscuit dough over the top of their lasagna and then parsley flakes. This is not a typical Italian way of making lasagna but if you are looking for an unusual lasagna topping, you might like to give this one a try.