|CLASSIC pasta||lasagne - how to make it|
To make lasagne, you will need fresh pasta, ready to be cooked; béchamel sauce; and the mixture or mixtures you are going to use in the lasagne.
If you are looking for a default mixture for your lasagne, that's easy. Go right to the bolognese sauce, prepare it, and you are ready with the best.
With all of these steps taken, off you go:
Steps in making lasagna:
Prepare the fresh pasta, white or green. Have it as thin as possible. Cut the fresh pasta strips into about 4 inch by 10 inch rectangles (that is if you are using a 10-inch baking pan or dish. If not, adjust).
Prepare the béchamel sauce, and have it ready.
Prepare for cooking the pasta: have a pot of 4-5 quarts of salted water boiling furiously; have a bowl of ice water; and have some dry towels, all in the vicinity.
Drop in a few of the cut pasta strips. Cook for just an instant, maybe 10 - 15 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, or whatever works, and plunge the pasta strips immediately into the ice water. Pick up the strips, and if you want to do the best job possible, rinse the strips immediately under cold water, to rinse off the starch; dry them off as well as you can, by gently squeezing or wiping with a towel; and then put the strips onto another towel to dry.
Put a tablespoon of the béchamel sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Line the bottom of the dish with a layer of the pasta, keeping overlap at a minimum. Add a tablespoon of béchamel and spread it out fairly evenly with a spatula; add a ladle of your mixture and spread it out fairly evenly; add a little parmesan.
Repeat: another layer of pasta, covered by the béchamel, spread out; a ladle of the mixture; and some parmesan. And then again. Make at least four or five levels of pasta.; six is fine. When complete, add a slight touch of the mixture to the top layer, a little parmesan, and cook.
Cover it loosely with aluminum foil, and bake in a preheated oven of 400 degrees. Bake about 20 minutes. The lasagne should be bubbling hot and the edges should be turning crusty brown. (If you are not getting results at 15 minutes, turn the heat up a little and/or remove the cover).
Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes.
>>options: some like to make the strips of pasta greater than the base of the dish. This allows an inch or two of pasta to overhang. As the last step, then, fold over these overhangs onto the last mixture applied.
Others just make pasta squares (as illustrated above) and lay them in the dish to get the best possible coverage, in whatever method or plan works best.
And it is possible of course, to use purchased dried lasagne pasta: one just misses the great taste treat that fresh gives you. (or even pre-cooked lasagne strips if you must).