Well kids, it was a success….I made my mom’s lasagna and I didn’t destroy the recipe’s perfection!
For years I’ve assumed that to make lasagna one must spend an entire weekend slaving away in the kitchen. As it turns out, it wasn’t that hard after all. Once you have sauce prepared, the lasagna part is really quite simple.
This is a pretty long post, so I will be including a “continue” button, so the first page of my blog isn’t 100 miles long. Since I have not done this before I wanted to give people fair warning. Simply click the title of the post (above) to go to the full post, or just click the “continue reading” button and the post should expand. Nobody freak out, I know change is scary!
So, I started with sauce….and honestly I made some darn tasty “sugo” (that means ‘sauce’ in Sicilian). For obvious reasons, I won’t be able to share the recipe for the sauce on my blog because we all know each Italian family has their own version of pasta sauce and each recipe is sacred (especially when it is my mom’s version, which is the best!). Thankfully the average person is fully capable of making pasta sauce, or picking up a jarred variety (oh the horror).
You can see from the picture that the number of ingredients must be kept to a minimum. Keep in mind that sauce only gets better as it sits, so don’t over do it—fancy or extra ingredients don’t necessarily mean better sauce. On a side note, we do include ground hamburger AND italian sausage in the family sauce recipe, and his, for me at least, is key. The intense tomato-y tasting jarred sauces just don’t have the same level of flavor, and I think it is due to the lack of meat and good herbs.
I have to say though, my favorite ingredient (that mustn’t be forgotten…ever.) is worcestershire sauce. I’ve never understood what this paper-wrapped concoction really is, but it is delish!
Anywhoo, once the sauce has been put together the assembly of the lasagna is simple: sauce, noodles, cheeses, repeat. I made my life extra easy by buying the no-boil variety of lasagna noodles.
Before assembling the noodles, cheese, and sauce you must first prep the three types of cheese. Here you can see my prep work, which I did while watching one of my new fave shows: Switched at Birth on Hulu…I’m too cheap for DVR, so this is how I get to watch TV! haha Anyway, basically you just need to shred mozzarella, grate parmesan, and mix ricotta with an egg. You then just layer these all together as the “cheese” layer between the noodles and sauce.
We’ve come to the last step, assembly! Here is my lasagna with the initial sauce and noodle layer almost all the way done. That bottom layer is vital by the way, don’t be skimpy with the sauce otherwise your lasagna will be dry and icky (and nobody likes icky lasagna!).
Once this layering, and re-layering is done, pop some tin foil on the top for the first 45 min in a 350 degree oven, then take it off for 15 more minutes to get that cheesy top nice and bubbly. I hope my inspirational lasagna making process has helped all of you aspire to be amazing Italian chefs! Enjoy!!!
For more specific step-by-step directions (provided directly from my mom’s email) and the amounts of each ingredient you will need for lasagna, check out my “Mom’s Lasagna” page.