Lasagna might seem like a complicated dish to make because there are a lot of components, but in all honestly it is not a difficult dish. When you also consider the fact that it can be made in advance, cooked hours or days later and frozen, then the prospect of making this classic pasta dish might seem more tempting.
Experimenting with Classic Lasagna Recipes
At its heart, lasagna is a combination of noodles, sauce, cheese, and filling. Because it is such a simple dish, it is good for adaptation and improvisation, as long as you stay true to the basic components, featuring some kind of noodles or replacement for them, some kind of filling, and some kind of sauce.
Lasagna does not need to be layered in a dish either. Some people like to make lasagna rollups, rolling the filling in the lasagna noodles and serving each person a couple of these rather than a square of conventional lasagna. Others like to use sliced vegetables instead of pasta, and some people like to use ground chicken or turkey rather than ground beef, or even the more economically priced ground pork.
Lasagna can be made in as many layers as you like, although a lot of people opt for a two-layered lasagna recipe. You can use no-boil noodles or the regular ones. No-boil noodles are thinner and a better option if you are making a crockpot lasagna recipe. They are also good if you are in a hurry because, as the name implies, there is no boiling involved like with thicker pasta that must soften before being added to the dish.
You can use a bechamel or tomato sauce to make your lasagna, or you can experiment with other kinds of sauce. Bechamel is a white sauce which is widely used in both French and Italian cuisine. It is used as the base of other sauces and it is made by whisking scalded milk into a butter and flour mixture.
Bechamel sauce can be made into cheese sauce, heavy cream sauce, mustard sauce, onion sauce and more. If you add brandy or rum and spices to bechamel sauce you can make a sweet dessert sauce. This is a traditional accompaniment to Christmas Pudding in the UK.
The thickness of your bechamel sauce depends on the milk and flour ratio. Famous recipes made with bechamel sauce include moussaka, lasagna and some kinds of croque-monsieur.
Mozzarella and parmesan are the traditional cheeses for lasagna, although some people like to use ricotta. Fontina can be substituted for the mozzarella if you like. You do not have to limit yourself to two cheeses either, because any shredded or soft cheese works well in homemade lasagna recipes. Try mixing in some gorgonzola or goat’s cheese.
Nearly anything works as a lasagna filling, including browned meat, sausage, meatballs, chicken, turkey, tofu, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, salmon, crab, spinach, or a combination of ingredients. You can make a very tasty vegetable lasagna recipe using vegetables that do not have to cook in water. Veggies which cook in water result in extra liquid which makes the lasagna too runny.
Precook your vegetables before assembling the lasagna. Try sautéing artichoke hearts or roasting asparagus, or use mixed mushrooms and spinach, or another delicious combination.
Sharing the task of preparing easy lasagna recipes means you can make it even more fun. Whether you enlist the help of your kids to weigh and measure out the ingredients, or get your partner to help make the perfect lasagna recipe, the results are sure to be great. There is nothing difficult about making lasagna, although you might want to follow a few easy lasagna recipes before experimenting with your favorites, tweaking the ingredients a little or making other adjustments. Learning how to make lasagna is a great idea if you want to prepare a healthy, filling, and tasty meal for the whole family.