If you're unsure how to make lasagna, don't worry. This quick starter guide will have you creating scrummy layered pasta treats in no time.
We'll cover important points like:
Ready? Let's get you cooking...
1. Decide what type of lasagna you're going to make and buy the ingredients. See our full selection of Italian lasagna recipes.
2. Make the sauce that will go in your lasagna's layers (see recipes). Also prepare any other ingredient bits (removing skins, chopping etc.)
3. 'Stain' the bottom of your lasagna pan/baking dish with just a little of the sauce. 2-3 tablespoons is usually enough to stain a rectangular 13" x 9" (34cm by 23cm) baking tin, which we find serves 4-6 people.
4. Cover this stained base with your first layer of uncooked dried lasagna noodles (sheets).
Important: if using packet (dried) lasagna, you really don't need to pre-boil this pasta before you prepare the dish to bake. Such pre-cooking is only required for lasagna sheets that you've made fresh from scratch (learn how to do that on our making fresh pasta page).
5. Spread a good amount of sauce and a handful of any cheese(s) you're using over this layer of pasta.
6. Add the next layer of pasta, sauce and repeat the process... until you have one layer of new pasta sheets placed down and one good layer's worth of sauce remaining (for the top).
Tip 1: I always without fail, put way too much sauce on the first layer and fail to leave enough for covering the top at the end. Try not to make the same mistake, because you want your top layer to cover all the pasta. If there is no pasta showing then there's no pasta to dry out or burn in the oven.
Tip 2: You don't need to save cheeses like mozzarella etc. for the very top layer (these tend to like burning in the oven), so include these instead in the last internal layer. The only cheese you should keep to hand for the top is grated parmesan.
7. Spread the remaining sauce over your top layer of lasagna noodles/sheets and grate over a little parmesan cheese too (depending on your recipe and tastes, but suits almost all lasagne).
8. Cook your lasagna in a pre-heated 350F/180C oven for 20 minutes. When you can slide in a toothpick and pull it out clean, it's done!
9. Stand for at least 10 minutes before serving (this firms up the lasagna's form and saves you burning your guests' mouths!).
Extra Tip: do you still have some lasagna left over? Cover it with kitchen paper and store at room temperature until tomorrow's lunch or dinner. Then just heat it through in the oven at the same temperature; 15 minutes should be enough next time around.
Finito! There you have it! You're now more in the know about how to make lasagna that most people, Italian or otherwise.
So now it's time... just decide which lasagna you're going to enjoy and get cracking... see my full selection of lasagna recipes to make your choice.