[65] Classic Lasagne, Italian-American Style

How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

So, the last lasagne in the freezer had all been eaten, and it wasn’t exactly what I’d had in mind when I first envisioned a pile o’ lasagne in the freezer anyway. Given all of that, I decided to try again with Bittman’s “Classic Italian-American” version of lasagne.

Ingredients

Salt (Assuming you boil your noodles.)
Lasagne noodles, fresh or dried (Dried is about a pound.)
~1 c ricotta cheese
~1 c mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp softened butter or extra virgin olive oil
~3 cups, Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style
1.5 c freshly ground Parmesan Cheese (We used 12 month aged Manchego)

Instructions

This is a lot like the last lasagne, so the directions are going to be almost exactly the same. You might get a sense of déjà vu.

Boil your noodles (or not) according to the package directions or the directions in your recipe. If you boil them, make sure they’re a little underdone.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Smear the bottom of your baking dish with the butter or oil and place a layer of noodles in the bottom, touching but not overlapping (or some overlapping, if you’re like me and don’t want to trim the excess). Cover the noodles with about 1/3 of the ricotta, then about 1/4 each of the meat sauce, mozzarella and Parm. Make two more layers like this, then a top layer of noodles, meat sauce, mozzarella and Parm. You can now either wrap it up good and freeze for a month or refrigerate for a day, or you can toss that dish in the oven and bake it for 20 – 30 minutes. You want delicious golden bubbly cheese on top.

Take it out and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting it up and devouring it. You can again also possibly freeze it or refrigerate it, but let it cool completely first.

Cooking and Consumption Notes

Cooking

This was actually a kind of weird lasagne. Last time we only had enough noodles to do a three layer lasange, which was nice but not quite what I wanted. Since the “fresh, no boil” noodles we used last time were why we ended up with a slightly thin lasange, and I only had one package of them (again), I decided to try to fix the issue. I found some not-fresh, boil noodles in the pantry, less than half a box, and used them. Six of those noodles total.

Which, of course, resulted in me having too many noodles. I should have only boiled three. And, oddly, it seemed there were more noodles in the fresh container this time, so we might not have needed the dried noodles in the first place. Grar. Too many noodles. We figured it out and had a lovely four layer lasagne, but we also had noodles leftover. Noodles!

I have nothing else to say that wasn’t covered in the cooking notes of the last lasagne entry.

Consumption

The first bite of this was amazing, but it quickly became “just” good. Honestly, I really did like it and I’m very glad to have leftovers in the freezer, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted out of “Classic Italian-American Style” lasagne. Bill really enjoyed it too, I think. Possibly more so than I did, because there wasn’t an aftertaste of disappointment to his.

It turns out that my vision of this dish involves some sort of tomato sauce (gravy to some), and a decent amount of it. So while I loved this and want to eat a lot more of it, it still wasn’t quite the lasagne I wanted.

Apparently I want my mom’s Classic Italian-American lasagna. With an “a”.