What do I do? How do I do it? 🍝 🇮🇹
Take your time. This is not a sprint, it's a marathon.
Get the best ingredients. None of that sawdust cheese in those green containers, thank you very much.
Make your sauce from scratch! Jar sauce is "meh" compared to homemade.
ALWAYS include the Italian soffritto in your sauce (softened then simmered: diced carrots, onion, and celery). Garlic too.
Don't leave the red wine out of your sauce. It goes in early and cooks off so don't worry you are not serving your kids or guests boozy food. The addition to the flavor profile is non-negotiable.
If using a béchamel sauce (rather than ricotta and egg) - make it yourself.
Don't let your sauce burn. Add some water if needed.
Don't be afraid to add sugar to your sauce.
Grease your Pyrex or baking dish with EVOO or put down some of your sauce in a thin layer before you start with your pasta sheets so the bottom and sides don't stick. Cooking spray at the very least.
Make sure all your pasta corners are covered with sauce or other ingredients as you build up the layers (unless you like crispy charred edges).
Use a variety of high quality cheeses - a mozzarella or ricotta, a provolone, and a pecorino or parmesan.
Bake first covered in foil to lock in the steam and cook the noodles and filling in the center, finish uncovered to brown the top layer of cheese.
Don't overfill between layers of pasta or you'll have a lasagna-slide rather than a sexy easy-to-cut casserole.
Don't make your sauce or your filling (vegetables, I'm looking at you) too chunky. Filling should be more creamy than chunky for best results.
Never put raw vegetables in your lasagna. Cook them first to soften.
Let your lasagna rest when done, covered, even till cool, and reheat before eating for best results. Next day is even better (cover, refrigerated, overnight then reheat covered.)
Buon appetito! 🍝 🇮🇹