The name alone conjures up a warm feeling! And who doesn’t like lasagna?!? Soft billowy layers of pasta layered with a rich tomato sauce and cheeses aged to perfection!
Lasagna and a simple yellow cake were the first two things I ever cooked in the kitchen. My mom had purchased a kid-size cook set for me at a younger age, and I would cook beside her on a step stool. By the age of 8, I had mastered lasagna. To me, it was so much fun to layer the ingredients. But authentic Italian lasagna is a bit different than you find in some restaurants – the authentic version is very simple – both simple to make and simple to eat. It is not layered with tons of cheese and then drowned in a layer of meat sauce – sure we sometimes use meat sauce in our lasagna, but it is not the norm. Lasagna should be a few delicious ingredients that make it unique and simple – and incredibly delicious!
Here is how I made an authentic Italian lasagna that will leave you and your guests wanting for more:
- 2 packages of Barilla oven-ready lasagna
- (Always start your pasta dishes with Barilla – the brand is all over Italy, and it cooks to perfection every time! )
- 4 cups of tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup of Whole Foods 365 brand grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup of Galbani ricotta cheese
- 2 – 8-ounce envelopes of Sargento Italian blend shredded cheese or mozzarella
The Cutting Board:
Use a 9 x 13 baking pan and begin by coating the bottom of your pan with tomato sauce.
Next, take out the oven-ready lasagna sheets. Decide how you are going to layer – either horizontal or vertical, you can’t go wrong. Just remember, your goal is to create layers. So go as close to the sides of your pan as you can without crossing over the lasagna sheets – they should lay side-by-side.
Next, add another coating of the tomato sauce, then sprinkle two tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Then add pieces of ricotta all over. Then, sprinkle a handful of shredded cheese – just enough to help to bind everything together once it cooks. Repeat this layering process 4 more times.
Then cover with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes remove from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before cutting into it – continue to keep it covered with the tin foil. This 10-minute wait will allow for everything to bind. After 10 minutes, remove the tin foil and plate a perfect square. Because of the 10 minutes you allowed the lasagna to rest the cheese had time to bind, and instead of falling apart, the lasagna will stay in a perfect square!
Now you’re ready to serve it to your guests! Be sure to make extra – your guests will definitely be asking you for seconds!