Lasagna is served everywhere from top restaurants to small pizzerias. Cheesy, meaty and filling, it is one of a few dishes that include a carb source, meats and dairy all in one. This layered dish is a family favorite and you can learn how to make lasagna effortlessly at home.
What is Lasagna Made of?
Lasagna is a layered casserole dish. The first, bottom layer consists of pasta. This pasta is wide and flat, and can be plain, whole wheat or flavored. Lasagna pasta is cooked al dente before it is baked in the oven. The next layer consists of meats. Traditionally, cooks used minced meat or sausage meat pieces for the middle layer. You can, however, use chicken or vegetables for a vegetarian-friendly version.
The top layer is the cheese. Many prefer to spread a cheese sauce before sprinkling grated cheese on the very top. Cheese sauce can be bought or prepared at home. The topping cheese is usually mozzarella but you can use cheddar or Gouda as well.
Health Benefits of Lasagna
Health benefits of this dish depend on how you decide to make lasagna. Plain pasta can have some amount of fiber, but if you want it to be more fibrous, using whole wheat pasta is best. Whole wheat pasta also makes lasagna more filling which might help you control your portions.
Meat is a good sauce of iron, especially if you choose to use minced meat. Chicken is a good choice if you’d like more protein. Mixing or substituting meat for vegetables can add nutrients to your lasagna’s nutritional profile. Cheese can be fatty but is filled with calcium and magnesium beneficial for bones, muscle and teeth.
How to Make Lasagna
- Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Sprinkle a pinch of salt in water and toss is the pasta.
- While the pasta cooks, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Sauté the onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Add minced meat and seasoning, and cook until brown and soft. Remove from heat.
- When the pasta is cooked but still slightly undercooked, remove from heat and drain the water. Wait for it to cool. Layer the bottom of a casserole dish with the al dente pasta. Add the meat and pat the surface with a spatula to make sure it is level.
- Pour the cheese sauce on top of the meat and level with a spoon. Finally, sprinkle the grated cheese, making sure the top is fully covered.
- Bake in 360F until the cheese on top turns golden brown. Serve.
Learning how to make lasagna is easy and fun. You can vary the ingredients as desired and add seasoning to enhance the taste. Lasagnas can be nutritious if you pick healthy ingredients but should generally be eaten in moderation for weight management.