A classic lasagna is a one-pan meal combining layers of Bolognese meat sauce, flat lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese sauce, and mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. The classic lasagna is usually made in a 9 inch by 13 inch by 2 inch baking pan. It is easy to assemble the lasagna if all of the components have been prepared and are ready. Here's how to make a classic lasagna.
You will need about 12 lasagna noodles for a three-layer lasagna. Boil four quarts of salted water in a large pot and, when the water is at a rolling boil, add the lasagna noodles. Cook for ten minutes, and remove from the boiling water with tongs. Lay out the noodles on paper towels to prevent them from sticking together.
- Make the Bolognese sauce by browning two pounds of ground chuck or ground sirloin in a skillet or frying pan.
- As the meat browns, stir the meat, break up large clumps, and scrape the pan to brown the meat evenly and to prevent burning.
- Pour off the fat as it accumulates, and continue to cook until no pink meat can be seen.
- Discard the fat.
- Place the meat in a large sauce pan and add a small, finely chopped onion, stirring to mix with the browned meat.
- Add the contents of a 24 ounce or larger jar of marinara sauce.
- Add two teaspoons of dried oregano, two teaspoons of dried basil, two cloves of finely-chopped garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook on medium heat for five minutes to combine the flavors.
The ricotta cheese sauce is made by combining:
- one pound of plain ricotta cheese
- one cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- two eggs
Mix with a whisk. Add a teaspoon each of dried oregano and basil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the lasagna by first spreading a thin layer of olive oil over the surface of the pan, to prevent sticking, and covering the bottom of the pan with four of the cooked noodles, overlapping as necessary to fit. Add a layer of Bolognese, a layer of ricotta cheese sauce, a layer of shredded mozzarella, and a second layer of noodles. Repeat the process, and finish with a layer of noodles on top. Spread shredded mozzarella evenly over the top of the completed lasagna, making sure to cover all of the noodles.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the cheese on top is brown and bubbly.