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Baked Lasagna

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Delicious wide noodles--lasagne—either spinach noodles or plain, have become a most popular dish in the United States, whether prepared in the Italian fashion or as a simple dish for entertaining that can be prepared ahead. There are dozens of ways to make baked lasagna, but none is really preferred over the other. However, use green noodles if available. One pound will make plenty for a large family or for entertaining.

NotesYou may use tiny meatballs instead of sausage and use double the amount of tomato meat sauce, omitting the bechamel. You may also add layers of thinly sliced mozzarella or Gruyere cheese, if you wish.

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentbaking/gratin dish

Mealdinner

Moodblue

Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, meaty, rich

Type of Dishbaked pasta, dry pasta, pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lasagne
  • Oil
  • 1 recipe tomato sauce with meat
  • 2 cups rich Bechamel Sauce flavored with nutmeg
  • 1½ pounds Italian sausages, sweet or hot, according to taste
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup or more freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook the lasagne in salted water to which you have added 2 tablespoons oil, or according to package directions. Drain well, stir in a little oil, and keep them warm over hot water. Prepare the tomato meat sauce and the bechamel with nutmeg. Blanch the sausages in boiling water 3 minutes. Drain and broil till cooked through—about 8 minutes. Peel and discard the skins.

  2. Spread a layer of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish or pan, preferably one with sharp corners, about 9 × 12 × 3 inches. Then add layers of lasagne, sausage, ricotta cheese, and bechamel. Begin with another layer of lasagne and repeat until the ingredients are used up, reserving some bechamel for the top of the dish. Sprinkle heavily with grated Parmesan cheese and bake in a 350-degree oven 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit in a warm spot 10 minutes before serving. Cut in squares and serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese.

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I have all the ingredients ready (tomato sauce, béchamel, meatballs, and I was wondering if I can construct it and cook it tomorrow.

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