If you crave some hot, satisfying lasagna for dinner tonight, there is no reason to buy the poor quality frozen lasagna from the store, especially when you can make your own and know for sure it is going to be a hundred times nicer. Homemade lasagna is always special and, even though this is a classic recipe, there are lots of different ways to make it.
Take the authentic recipe for example, featuring beef, ricotta, tomato sauce and more. You might like to recreate that, or you might prefer to swap the ricotta for another kind of cheese or use a different sauce. You can even change the ground beef for chicken or seafood. Take your time browsing different recipes for lasagna and see which one catches your eye.
Easy Lasagna Recipes for New Cooks
If you are new to cooking, you will be looking for easy lasagna recipes. Lasagna can be as easy or as complex as you want it to be, but there are plenty of easy recipes to try out.
There is nothing difficult about making lasagna since usually you just have to brown the meat, layer the ingredients in a baking dish in the right order and cook it until piping hot and bubbling, but you will find the more lasagna recipes you make the simpler this dish will become to make.
Once you become really confident making it, you can adapt the recipes to come up with your own variations. Perhaps you love beef lasagna but you fancy trying a crab or salmon lasagna recipe instead, or making a healthy vegetable lasagna using all your favorite veggies. Any of this is possible, and more besides.
A Few Lasagna Facts You Might Not Know
You probably already know that lasagna is a dish made of alternating cheese, meat, sauce and pasta layers and it is Italian in origin, but did you know that “lasagne” is the plural of lasagna in Italy, or that lasagna is spelt “lasagna” in the UK?
The word lasagna comes from the pot the dish was cooked in, not the meal itself, and some people believe the word comes from “lasanon” which is the Greek word for chamber pot. Lasagna was known as “losyns” in Middle English and the recipe was featured in a 1300s cookbook in England. This recipe did not feature tomatoes though, since they were not introduced to Europe until almost two hundred years later. The word finally came to refer to the noodles used to make this dish, although noodles are not a required part of lasagna any more, and some recipes do not even use them.
Lasagna is made with flat or rippled noodles. Rippled noodles are not used much in the north of Italy but they are popular in the south, as well as in the United States. Outside the south of Italy and the United States, pasta noodles are almost always flat.
You can use homemade pasta or buy it from the store. Dried pasta is made with flour and water but homemade pasta uses eggs, so there is quite a big difference. Making pasta from scratch can be time-consuming and it takes practice to become good at this. Fresh pasta must be precooked before you assemble the lasagna too.
Lasagna is Globally Famous
After pizza, lasagna is one of the most recognizable dishes in the whole world and every country has their own ideas about what constitutes a good lasagna recipe.
Many people believe the original Italian recipe cannot be improved upon but different cultures like to make their own versions and it can be fun making different kinds of lasagna. The classic recipe, if you can call it that, is a tomato and meat ragu and bechamel sauce dish, which is layered with sheets of pasta and baked in the oven.
Some recipes will tell you to combine the tomato mixture with the bechamel mixture and then layer it between the noodles. Other recipes will suggest layer these mixtures between the noodles. Every lasagna recipe is different and you will discover which version you prefer. Your family will also be quick to let you know which lasagna recipes they like best.
Different Types of Lasagna
Lasagna comes in many forms. There are meat lasagna recipes, seafood lasagnas, poultry ones and vegetarian ones too. There is even a raw vegan lasagna, which is made with thinly sliced zucchini instead of noodles, and nut cheese. Apparently it tastes better than it sounds. Lasagna can be made in bulk and refrigerated or frozen. It can also be made in small portions if you want small, elegant individual meals for a dinner party or similar event.
Use fresh garlic in your easy lasagna recipes for a delicious aromatic result. Some people swear that adding a pinch of cinnamon to their lasagna gives it a wonderful flavor. You can use canned peeled plum tomatoes to make a tasty sauce. Your lasagna is ready when it is bubbling on the top, piping hot in the center and browned in spots. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.