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How to Layer Lasagna

How to Layer Lasagna
When a dish contains too many layers, it is essential to understand which item should follow what and exactly why should it be done in a particular manner. Lasagna is one such dish which is multilayered and one really needs to know that sequence in which the noodles, the sauce, the cheese, and the ragù should be arranged in order to nail the dish. So, here we tell you how to go about the entire process of layering a lasagna and also give you seven lasagna recipes for you to try out.
Tastessence Staff
The key ingredients required for making lasagna are pasta, sauce, the meat mixture or filling, and cheese. How are these arranged in the proper order to make something as divine as lasagna, you ask? Here's how.
The Usual Order
  • It generally starts out with greasing the baking pan with a moistening agent, like oil, cooking spray, broth, or the primary sauce of your recipe. This helps to keep your lasagna moist and soft.
  • Then come the pasta noodles - cooked or otherwise as specified by the recipe.
  • Next comes the ragù or the meat-based sauce that acts as the primary filler of your dish. It can be made with pork, beef, chicken, fish, seafood, eggs, or (for vegetarians) cottage cheese, chopped mushrooms and veggies (especially spinach).
layering lasagna
  • Fourth layer is generally the sauce you are using which can be cheese-based, tomato-based, white Béchamel sauce, or something else.
  • This is followed by a generous layering of grated cheese. Parmesan, mozzarella, Gruyere, ricotta are the most commonly opted for varieties.
  • Then comes the noodle layer again.
  • This order is repeated thrice (or more times) a noodle layer on top which is then showered heavily with grated cheese and sometimes herbs. Some people like to add one more coating of sauce on the topmost noodle layer before sprinkling the cheese.
This is the general order or sequence of lasagna layers. Now let us move on to see how it is all done through the help of some recipes.

Before we start, it is necessary to discuss the different kinds of lasagne or lasagna noodle varieties that can be used to make the dish. Homemade lasagne is preferable due to its freshness and texture. One can acquire the desired shape and size of the noodles using kitchen tools such as the pasta bike for cutting the fresh dough.
lasagne
However, using ready-made lasagna noodles saves time. It also saves effort which can then be employed to make lasagna itself. There are various types available in the market these days.
lasagna-noodle1
lasagna-noodle2
lasagna-noodle3
While the flat sheets are made with eggs and used widely in Northern Italy, the longish egg-free strip-like ribbons with serrated/ridged/curly sides are popular in the South of Italy. The latter are made from only water and a semolina durum wheat flour variety that is rather hard. Cook them as per package instructions and you are set.
Layering Lasagnas
The thumb rules for easy-to-make classic lasagna recipe are, gathering appropriate amounts of ingredients and allowing the dish to settle for some time after baking. As per your choice, you can substitute sauce and also, adjust the quantities. That way, you can taste a different flavored lasagna.
Lasagna Bolognese
To be served with only (and I mean ONLY) Sangiovese di Romagna wine. For 4 servings, you will need the following.
Lasagna Bolognese
Ingredients:
  • De Cecco Italian lasagne, 16 sheets
  • Clove, 1 (freshly ground)
  • Tomatoes, 2 lb. (peeled, chopped)
  • Beef, 11 oz. (ground)
  • Italian sausage, 4 oz. (ground)
  • Pork, 4 oz. (ground)
  • Water, 6 quarts + 1 cup
  • Whole milk, 2 cups + 1 cup
  • Parmesan cheese, 1 cup (freshly grated)
  • Butter, ¼ cup + 4 tbsp. (unsalted)
  • All-purpose, ¼ cup (unbleached flour)
  • Black pepper, 1 tsp. (freshly ground)
  • Sea salt, ½ tsp.
  • Cinnamon, a dash (freshly ground)
  • Pancetta, 2 oz. (diced, finely chopped)
Diced pancetta
Diced pancetta
soffritto
soffritto
Spanish yellow onion, 1 (medium, very finely chopped) + Carrot, 1 (very finelychopped) + Celery stalk, 1 (very finely chopped) = This is called "soffritto" (the Italian version of the French "mirepoix" which a combination of finely chopped celery, onions, and carrots; the Italian version comprises herbs).

Procedure:

Pre-layering Preparations:

Heat 4 tablespoons of butter in a frypan over medium heat and add the onion, carrot, and celery stalk to it once warm. Sauté for a bit and then add the chopped pancetta to the pan. Keep sautéing until the onions in the mixture take on a golden color. Add in the ground beef, Italian pork, and sausage to the mixture in the pan. Take the temperature up to high and stir frequently while it cooks. Once all the meat turns brown in color uniformly, season with clove, pepper, and cinnamon. Stir to mix.
The meat gradually becoming brown.
The meat gradually becoming brown.
Simmering sauce after tomatoes and milk is added.
Simmering sauce after tomatoes and milk is added.
Throw in the chopped tomatoes at this juncture and bring the heat down to medium. Let a steady simmer set in for 15 minutes and then pour in a cup of milk. Mizzle the sea salt from top. Stir once and then reduce the heat. Let the sauce simmer steadily for 2½ hours straight. You will need to check in and stir the sauce every 20 minutes to prevent it from getting burnt. Pour in ¼ cup of water every time the gravy dries up and the ingredients start to stick to the bottom of the pan. Use a spatula to scrape all the stuck pieces up and keep cooking. The Bolognese meat sauce will be ready in 2½ hours. Divide the sauce into three equal parts.

Now start making the Béchamel sauce by boiling 2 cups of milk and keeping it warm. Now, in another nonstick and thick-bottomed pan, heat the butter until it melts completely on low heat and then gradually add the flour to it, stirring quickly all the while. Once uniformly mixed, cook the roux for another minute and take the concoction off heat. Pour one installment of the warm milk into the pan. Do not stop stirring. Now, place the pan back on the stove and heat on low. You will see the sauce thickening gradually. Pour in the second installment of milk. Stir frequently. After 12 - 15 minutes, the flour in the roux will have cooked and will start to boil. Add some sea salt and in a while the sauce will have reached the desired thick consistency. There shouldn't be any lumps. Whisk rapidly to get rid of any that gets formed. Turn the heat off. Divide the sauce into three equal parts. Your Béchamel sauce is ready for the lasagna.
ingredients for bechamel
step1
step2
step3
ready bechamel
Next, preheat the oven to 375° F.

Get to cooking the lasagne noodles by heating 6 quarts of water with a pinch of salt and adding the noodles to it. Cook for a good 8 minutes. The noodles will be pliable yet slightly chewy. Remove the pot from heat and drain the lasagne immediately using a colander. Rinse cooked lasagna noodles with cold water. After all the water had drained out, lay them out in a single layer on cooling racks.

The Layering:

Layer 1: Lay 4 cooked lasagne strips in a glass (not aluminum) 13" x 9" baking dish, greased with olive oil, lengthwise side by side, each slightly overlapping the other.

Layer 2: ⅓ of the Bolognese sauce.

Layer 3: ⅓ of the Béchamel sauce.

Layer 4: ¼ cup grated Parmesan.

Layer 5: 4 cooked lasagne strips.

Layer 6: ⅓ of the Bolognese sauce.

Layer 7: ⅓ of the Béchamel sauce.

Layer 8: ¼ cup grated Parmesan.

Layer 9: 4 cooked lasagne strips.

Layer 10: ⅓ of the Bolognese sauce.

Layer 11: ⅓ of the Béchamel sauce.

Layer 12: ¼ cup grated Parmesan.

Layer 13: 4 cooked lasagne strips.

Layer 14: ¼ cup grated Parmesan.

Post Layering:

Now cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, place the dish on the middle rack of the preheated oven, and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. After that, take the dish out, remove the foil, let the baked lasagna stand unperturbed for 10 - 12 minutes, and serve.
Three-layer Italian Sausage Lasagna with Marinara Sauce
Three-layer Italian Sausage Lasagna with Marinara Sauce
Ingredients:
  • Lasagne strips, 12
  • Eggs, 2 (lightly beaten)
  • Marinara sauce, 2 jars
  • Bulk Italian sausage, 1 lb. (cooked and drained)
  • Ricotta cheese, 15 oz.
  • Parmesan cheese, 2 oz. (grated)
  • Mozzarella cheese, 4 cups (shredded)
Procedure:

Pre-layering Preparations:

Begin by preheating the oven to 375° F.

Cook the lasagne noodles. Fill a large pot with 2 quarts of water and add a pinch of salt. Bring it to boil and slowly add lasagne. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking of noodles. As the noodles turn half-cooked and pliable or slightly chewy, remove from heat and drain immediately by using a colander. Avoid rinsing cooked lasagna noodles as it reduces the taste and flavor. Lay them out in a single layer on cooling racks.

Commingle the eggs, ricotta, Parmesan, and 3½ cups of mozzarella well. Divide the mixture into two equal parts and keep aside.

To prepare the ragù (the meat-based sauce), pour 1½ jars of marinara sauce into a largish cooking pan and add in the sausage. Let the mixture simmer steadily for 5 minutes while stirring continuously. Take it off the heat after that. Divide the ragù into two equal parts as well.

Now grease a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray.

The Layering:

Layer 1: Pour ¾ cup of the remaining marinara sauce into the dish. Spread the sauce out evenly at the bottom of the dish with the help of a spatula.

Layer 2: Lay 4 cooked lasagne strips lengthwise side by side, each slightly overlapping the other.

Layer 3: Take one part of the cheese mixture and sprinkle it evenly and uniformly on the lasagne layer.

Layer 4: One part of the ragù evenly spread out.

Layer 5: 4 lasagne.

Layer 6: Second part of the cheese mixture.

Layer 7: Second part of the ragù.

Layer 8: Last 4 lasagne.

Layer 9: Remaining marinara sauce.

Layer 10: Remaining ½ a cup of mozzarella cheese.

Post Layering:

Now cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, place the dish in the preheated oven, and bake for half an hour solid. After the first 30 minutes, take the dish out, remove the foil, put the dish back in, bake for another 10 minutes and voila! All you need to then do let the baked lasagna stand unperturbed for 10 - 12 minutes and serve.
Salmon Lasagna with Béchamel (White) Sauce
This recipe requires you to make the Béchamel sauce (the mother sauce of French cuisine) first.
Salmon Lasagna with Bechamel (White) Sauce
Ingredients:
  • Black peppercorns, 6
  • Cloves, 2
  • Onion, 2 (peeled, chopped)
  • Bay leaf, 1
  • Spinach, ½ tin (strained, dried over low heat, seasoned with salt and pepper, divided)
  • Lasagne, 400 gms.
  • Salmon, 200 gms.
  • Butter, 50 gms.
  • Milk, 1½ pints
  • Butter, 2 oz.
  • Flour, 2 oz. (plain)
  • Béchamel sauce, 1 cup
  • Olive oil, 4 tbsp.
  • Mixed herbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Procedure:

Pre-layering Preparations:

In a saucepan, pour the milk and add the peppercorns, cloves, bay leaf and, 1 onion to it. (Some people add 3 fresh parsley stalks and a blade of mace to the milk as well, but it is not absolutely necessary to do so.) Heat this concoction until the milk just begins to boil. Take it off the heat at this juncture and cover the pan. Let the milk sit for half an hour for all the flavors to meld optimally. After that, run the milk through a sieve and store the strained milk in a lidded bowl. Discard the other ingredients.

In a nonstick pan, heat the butter until it melts completely on low heat and then gradually add the flour to it, stirring all the while. Once uniformly mixed, cook the roux for another 5 minutes and then pour the strained milk into the pan in installments. Do not stop stirring. You will see the sauce thickening gradually. After 12 - 15 minutes, the flour in the roux will have cooked and the sauce will have reached the desired thick consistency. Turn the heat off. Divide the sauce into two equal parts. Your Béchamel sauce is ready for the lasagna.

Begin by preheating the oven to 350° F (180° C).

Cook lasagne noodles. Fill a pot with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring it to boil and slowly add lasagne. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking of noodles. As the noodles turn half-cooked and pliable or slightly chewy, remove from heat and drain immediately by using a colander. Avoid rinsing cooked lasagna noodles as it reduces the taste and flavor. Lay them out in a single layer on cooling racks.

Heat the butter and olive oil on medium in a saucepan and to it add the salmon and onion. Sauté for 10 minutes. Take it off the heat after that and cool. Divide this into two equal parts.

Now grease a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray.

The Layering:

Layer 1: Lay 1 cooked lasagna sheet at the bottom.

Layer 2: One part of the spinach.

Layer 3: One part of the salmon.

Layer 4: One part of the sautéed onions.

Layer 5: One part of the Béchamel sauce.

Layer 6: One more lasagna sheet.

Layer 7: Second part of the spinach.

Layer 8: Second part of the salmon.

Layer 9: Second part of the sautéed onions.

Layer 10: Third lasagna sheet.

You can add more layers in the same order if the mixture is left.

Post Layering:

Now cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, place the dish in the preheated oven, and bake for half an hour solid. After the first 30 minutes, take the dish out, remove the foil, mizzle mixed herbs on the lasagna, garnish with a cherry on top, and serve with a salad. Makes 5 servings in all of 1 hour and 5 minutes.
Three-layer Fresh Salmon Lasagna with a Cheese-based Sauce
6 servings. 45 minutes.
Three-layer Fresh Salmon Lasagna with a Cheese-based Sauce
Ingredients:
  • Lasagna strips, 12 (cooked, drained)
  • Egg, 4 (yolks of 3 and 1 whole)
  • Carrot, 2 (medium, diced)
  • Celery, 2 stalks (big, diced)
  • Onion, 1 (medium, diced)
  • Lemon zest, of 1 lemon
  • Atlantic salmon, 600 gms.
  • Mascarpone cheese, 250 gms.
  • Parmesan, 1 cup + ½ cup + extra (grated)
  • Italian parsley leaves, 1 cup (chopped)
  • Fish stock, 375 ml. + 2 tablespoons
  • Oil, 15 ml.
  • Pepper
  • Salt
Procedure:

Pre-layering Preparations:

In a mixing bowl, place the mascarpone cheese, the whole egg, the egg yolks, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, pepper, and salt. Whisk until you are left with a smooth and thick paste.

Heat the oil in a largish frypan and add the carrot, celery, and onion sauté for 2 - 3 minutes. Add the parsley leaves to the soffritto as well and sauté. Now, use the spatula to push the veggies to the side of the pan and add the salmon. Fry the fish at the center of the pan for 3 minutes and then pour 375 milliliters of fish stock in. Place a lid on the pan. Let the broth simmer for 4 minutes. Now, gently scoop the salmon out of then pan and place the fish on a plate. Keep cooking the veggies until they cooked through. The stock in the pan will have dried up by this time.

Once the veggies are done, place them on top of the fish and then use a fork to dice both into smaller pieces.

The Layering:

Layer 1: 1 spoon of fish stock.

Layer 2: 4 cooked lasagna strips with serrated edges laid lengthwise side by side, each slightly overlapping the other.

Layer 3: One part of the salmon-vegetable mixture.

Layer 4: One part of the mascarpone cheese paste.

Layer 5: 4 cooked lasagna strips.

Layer 6: Second part of the salmon-vegetable mixture.

Layer 7: Second part of the mascarpone cheese paste.

Layer 8: 4 cooked lasagna strips.

Layer 9: Third part of the salmon-vegetable mixture.

Layer 10: Third part of the mascarpone cheese paste.

Layer 11: 4 cooked lasagna strips.

Layer 12: 1 spoon of fish stock.

Post Layering:

Heat the oven to 392° F (200° C). Now cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, place the dish in the preheated oven, and bake for 12 minutes. After that, take the dish out, remove the foil, and serve.
Gluten-free Beef-Mushroom Lasagna with Spaghetti Sauce
Zucchini Lasagna Gluten Free
Ingredients:
  • Garlic, 4 cloves (finely chopped)
  • Roma tomatoes, 2 (finely chopped)
  • Zucchini, 1 (sliced)
  • Bell pepper, 1 (finely chopped)
  • Onion, 1 (finely chopped)
  • Tinkyada Gluten Free Organic Brown Rice Lasagna, 1 box
  • Classico® Fire-Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta Sauce, 1 jar
  • Beef, 1 lb. (ground)
  • Cheese, 4 cups (grated)
  • Mushroom, 2 cups (finely chopped)
Procedure:

Pre-layering Preparations:

First, heat oil in a wok and add the bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, and zucchini to fry for 5 minutes. The veggies will soften after that.

Heat oil in a large pan and add the garlic and onion and sauté for a minute. Add the ground beef after that and cook until the meat changes its color to brown. Once brown, pour in ⅔ of the pasta sauce jar into the pan. Stir to mix. Throw in the cooked veggies and the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. remove from heat after that.

Grease a deep roasting pan with some cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350º F.

The Layering:

Layer 1: Pour the remaining ⅓ jar of pasta sauce into the dish. Spread the sauce out evenly at the bottom of the dish with the help of a spatula.

Layer 2: Lay 4 gluten-free lasagne strips lengthwise side by side, none overlapping the other.

Layer 3: Take one part of the beef mixture and layer it evenly and uniformly on the lasagne layer.

Layer 4: One part of the grated cheese.

Layer 5: 4 lasagne.

Layer 6: Beef mixture.

Layer 7: Cheese.

Layer 8: 4 lasagne.

Layer 9: Beef mixture.

Layer 10: Cheese.

Layer 11: 4 lasagne.

Layer 12: Cheese.

Post Layering:

Now cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil, place the dish in the preheated oven, and bake for 30 minutes. After that, take the dish out, remove the foil, and serve.
Vegetable Lasagna Florentine
Now, a treat for vegetarians. This lasagna takes about 1 hour 45 minutes to be ready and you can make 12 servings with the quantities of ingredients stated below. It's all totally worth it.
Vegetable Lasagna Florentine
Ingredients:
  • Eggs, 2
  • Onion, 1 (chopped)
  • Zucchini, 1 (finely chopped)
  • Tomatoes, 2 28-oz. cans (crushed)
  • Cottage cheese, 1 16-oz. container (nonfat, drained)
  • Lasagna noodles, 1 16-oz. box
  • Spinach, 1 10-oz. package (frozen, thawed, chopped, cooked in the microwave, excess water drained)
  • Mushrooms, 1 8-oz. can (sliced)
  • Tomato paste, 1 6-oz. can
  • Mozzarella cheese, 1 lb. (shredded)
  • Parmesan cheese, ¼ cup (grated)
  • Basil, 3 tbsp. (dried)
  • Garlic, 2 tbsp. (ground)
  • Olive oil, 2 tbsp.
  • Oregano, 1 tbsp. (dried)
  • Brown sugar, 1 pinch
  • Salt, to taste
Procedure:

Pre-layering Preparations:

Begin by preheating the oven to 350º F (175º C).

Cook the lasagne noodles. Fill a large pot with 4 quarts of water and add a pinch of salt. Bring it to boil and slowly add lasagne. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking of noodles. In 10 minutes, the noodles will be al dente and turn pliable yet slightly chewy. Remove the pot from heat and drain the lasagne immediately using a colander. Rinse cooked lasagna noodles with cold water. After all the water had drained out, lay them out in a single layer on cooling racks.

Commingle the grated Parmesan and mozzarella loosely and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and throw in the onion, zucchini, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook on medium heat until the veggies have softened and then add in the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, along with the brown sugar. Mizzle some salt and oregano from top. Stir once to mix and then bring the heat down to low. Let a simmer set in for 15 minutes and your sauce is ready.

In a food processor, add the eggs, cottage cheese, spinach, and 2 tablespoons of basil and blend well.

The Layering:

Layer 1: Pour the ⅓ of the sauce into a 13" x 9" x 2" lasagna pan. Spread the sauce out evenly at the bottom of the dish with the help of a spatula.

Layer 2: ⅓ of the lasagne strips lengthwise side by side, none overlapping the other.

Layer 3: ⅓ of the spinach-cottage cheese mixture.

Layer 4: ⅓ of the remaining tomato sauce.

Layer 5: ⅓ of the Parmesan-mozzarella mixture.

Layer 6: ⅓ of the lasagne strips.

Layer 7: ⅓ of the remaining spinach-cottage cheese mixture.

Layer 8: Last installment of the tomato sauce.

Layer 9: ⅓ of the Parmesan-mozzarella mixture.

Layer 10: ⅓ of the lasagne strips.

Layer 11: Remaining spinach-cottage cheese mixture.

Layer 12: Remaining Parmesan-mozzarella mixture.

Layer 13: Remaining basil.

Post Layering:

Now cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, place the dish in the preheated oven, and bake for an hour solid. After that, take the dish out, remove the foil, let the baked lasagna stand unperturbed for 10 - 12 minutes and serve.
Ham Lasagna with Gruyere Cheese
Makes 10 servings.
Ham Lasagna with Gruyere Cheese
Ingredients:
  • Garlic cloves, 4
  • Eggs, 2
  • Lasagne noodles, 1 package (cooked as per package instructions, drained, cooled)
  • Ham, 1 lb. (cooked, finely sliced)
  • Ricotta cheese, 1 lb.
  • Gruyere cheese, ½ lb. (grated)
  • Mozzarella cheese, ½ lb. (grated)
  • Parmesan cheese, ½ lb. (grated) + extra
  • Milk, 3 cups
  • Butter, 6 tbsp. (unsalted)
  • Flour, 6 tbsp.
  • Red wine, 2 tbsp.
  • Olive oil, 1 tbsp.
  • Tomato paste, 1½ tsp.
  • Mustard powder, ½ tsp.
  • Nutmeg, ¼ tsp.
  • Parsley, a handful (fresh, chopped)
  • Salt, to taste
Procedure:

Pre-layering Preparations:

Begin by preheating the oven to 350º F (175º C).

Commingle the grated ricotta with the eggs, whisk well, and keep aside.

Heat butter in a pan over low heat and once molten, add in the flour. Whip with a wire whisk to facilitate complete blending until smooth. Next, pour the milk in gradually and keep whisking incessantly. There shouldn't be any lumps. The sauce will thicken gradually and once it reaches the desired consistency, add the mustard powder, nutmeg, and salt to the smooth sauce. Whip some more. Pour in the wine, stir, add the Parmesan, and stir again. Take it off the heat and set aside. Now heat oil in small pan and sauté the garlic cloves in it. Once the flavor of the garlic gets infused in the oil, discard the cloves, and pour the flavored-oil to the sauce. Also add the tomato paste to the sauce as well, mix well, and your sauce is ready for your lasagna.

The Layering:

Layer 1: A thin helping of the sauce into a 9" x 13" baking dish. Spread the sauce out evenly at the bottom of the dish with the help of a spatula.

Layer 2: 4 lasagne strips lengthwise side by side, none overlapping the other.

Layer 3: ½ of the egg-ricotta mixture.

Layer 4: Ham slices.

Layer 5: ½ of the grated Gruyere cheese.

Layer 6: ½ of the grated mozzarella cheese.

Layer 7: Sauce.

Layer 8: 4 lasagne strips.

Layer 9: ½ of the remaining egg-ricotta mixture.

Layer 10: Ham slices.

Layer 11: ½ of the remaining grated Gruyere cheese.

Layer 12: ½ of the remaining grated mozzarella cheese.

Layer 13: Sauce.

Layer 14: Some grated Parmesan cheese.

Layer 15: Chopped parsley.

Post Layering:

Now cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, place the dish in the preheated oven, and bake for 45 minutes. After that, take the dish out, remove the foil, let the baked lasagna stand unperturbed for 10 - 12 minutes and serve.
Lasagna With Provolone Cheese
Lasagna Convenience Meal
Traditional Lasagna
Lasagna
Lasagna
Curly Edged Lasagna
Lasagna
Lasagne With Shrimp And Pesto
Vegetarian Lasagna
Classic Lasagna With Bolognese Sauce
Lasagne Al Forno
You can play and experiment with the sauce, meat filling, and cheese type to spice things up a little bit. After all, experimentation is the very soul of the art of cooking.