Make the best lasagne ever … our top tips
When it comes to comfort food lasagne is definitely in our top 5. Whether you prefer a traditional meat-based lasagne or a vegetarian version, there’s something so incredibly right about layers of pasta, a flavour-packed sauce and oozing melted cheese. But there’s a few tricks to making a great lasagne and some of them might surprise you. Here’s our top 10 tips for the perfect lasagne.
1. Take care of fresh lasagne sheets
Using fresh lasagne sheets? There’s a couple of things that you need to do. Firstly when you’re cooking them make sure you add a generous sprinkle of salt to the water so that the pasta gets seasoned while it cooks. The second thing is to make sure you don’t overcook them, 4 to 5 minutes is plenty of time, because they will also be going in the oven. Once they are cooked, it is important to drain them immediately and then separate them and place on an oiled baking tray. This will help avoid them clumping together while you prepare the other ingredients and assemble your lasagne. And although fresh pasta is undeniably delicious, there is an alternative that makes the whole process of lasagne-making super-simple (see tip 2).
2. Use dried lasagne sheets
These ready to cook noodles will save you having to worry about boiling the pasta. Just layer them in and top with sauce and you’ll get great results.
3. Make it mozzarella
For a truly delicious lasagne you must use mozzarella. It adds a richness and texture that lasagne needs. Fresh mozzarella is best, just be sure to drain it before adding to the lasagne so that it is not too watery.
4. Choose your meat carefully
If you’re making a traditional meat-based lasagne, think beyond beef mince and try other options. Pork mince is a great option or use a mixture of half beef, half pork for a fabulous rich flavour.
5. Stay away from metal dishes
Using a glass dish for your lasagne is important for good results because it distributes the heat more evenly than metal and does not react with the acid components in lasagne like tomato sauce. Choose a dish that is not too big because you want to have a nice thick lasagne full of delicious layers.
6. Watch out for water
Lasagne should never be watery. Avoid a watery lasagne by making sure that you remove as much moisture as possible – drain fresh noodles well, reduce your sauce so that it is thick rather than too runny, sauté vegetables before you add them so that they release water during the sauteing rather than in the lasagne.
7. Avoid a sticky bottom
Use a little bit of sauce on the bottom of the dish before you add the first layer of lasagne sheets as this will prevent the sheets sticking to the bottom of the dish.
8. Order is important
When assembling your lasagne you should always follow the order sauce, pasta, filling.
9. Cover the top
Lasagne shouldn’t be dry or crunchy and you can ensure that yours has the perfect brown, cheesy top by covering it in foil when you put it in the oven. Cook it covered for half the cooking time and then remove the foil for the final half to get a lovely golden brown colour on top.
You rest steak right? Well, you should also rest lasagne. Wait at least 15 minutes before you cut the lasagne and you’ll find that it will hold its shape better.