One of my favorite dishes to make for my family and friends is lasagna! And when I make lasagna; I make lasagna! A turkey roasting pan size lasagna! It is a great dish to make for a large group meal or to freeze for later. There are a few elements that you need to get ready before assembling your lasagna so let’s walk through it together!
One of the main parts of this lasagna is the Hearty Spaghetti Sauce, having this ready in the freezer saves a lot of time when it comes to making lasagna. You can make it the day of or you can make it ahead and freeze it. This is a great meat sauce for any pasta and it is handy to have at the ready in the freezer. Here is the recipe for Hearty Spaghetti Sauce!
The amount of noodles you require will depend on the size of the pan you are using. Lay uncooked noodles in the bottom of your pan, and then multiply that number by 4. I usually make one or two extra just in case any break or rip during cooking. Once the noodles are al dente, rinse them in cold water right away and lay them flat on a clean kitchen towel to dry.
Another flavourful layer of your lasagna is the ricotta and spinach layer. Frozen or fresh spinach works well. I usually use frozen as I find it saves a bit of time. When using fresh you need to sauté the raw spinach and then allow it to cool before squeezing out excess water. If using frozen you just need to defrost it and then squeeze out the excess water. I do this with my hands as I find it works best. When your spinach is ready, add it to a medium mixing bowl with the ricotta cheese and about 1 cup of shredded Italiano Cheese and combine.
I like to add a layer of béchamel sauce to the top of my lasagna as I find it really ties the whole dish together and creates a creamy base for the baked cheese top. For a basic béchamel sauce, melt 2 tbsp of butter in a medium saucepan and then mix in 2 tbsp of flour to make a paste. Once you have made a nice paste, slowly add 2 cups of milk and stir continuously until the sauce thickens. Once the sauce is thick add salt and pepper to taste.
I usually use pre-shredded cheese to save myself time and money. If you prefer you can buy and shred Parmesan, Romano and Mozzarella, you will need 3-4 cups. Once all of your layers are prepared you are ready to assemble your lasagna!
First, spray your roasting pan well with non-stick spray. Next, add a small amount of the meat sauce to the bottom of the pan. You want to add just enough for a very thin layer so that your noodles do not dry out and stick. Then add your first layer of noodles. Top the noodles with about half of the remaining meat sauce and spread evenly. Add the second layer of noodles and then top with the ricotta and spinach layer and spread that evenly. Then add the third layer of noodles and then top with the remaining meat sauce, spreading evenly again. Next, add the last layer of noodles and top with the béchamel sauce. Sprinkle the top of the béchamel sauce with the shredded Italiano Cheese in a nice thick layer. That’s it! Our lasagna is ready to bake!
Bake your lasagna in the oven at 350° for about 1 hour or until the cheese on top is starting to brown. Serve with Caesar salad and garlic toast. Once cooled completely, freeze any leftovers in single or family portions in either freezer safe sealable containers or freezer bags.
Here is the recipe for this Amazing Lasagna! Give it a try and let me know what you think!
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