It’s hard to take a nice picture of lasagna — so let me tell you right now, my first attempt ever at a dish like this came out so-so. While it’s definitely yummy, I do need some pro-tips that’ll take this recipe for Beef & Chorizo Mexican Lasagna to the top.
In the meantime, my trial and error this time around gave me some tips to give out of my own:
Tips to make a better lasagna:
- Don’t cook the lasagna noodles. Layer them in dry. Better yet, use the no-boil noodles.
- Using tomato sauce could yield a meat mixture that’s too runny — ragu sauce is a little thicker, and will do the trick.
- Strain your cheese mixture. I’ve seen the light, and I now know that a cheesecloth is a kitchen essential. Straining your ricotta or cottage cheese is key to not having a soupy lasagna.
- Have time and patience. Don’t start cooking a lasagna when you’re already hungry (or at 7 p.m., unless you’re cool with eating after 9 p.m.). It’s a meal that takes nearly an hour to bake, and even more patience and time if you’re going to let it rest. (Which you probably should if you don’t want a gooey mess.)
The act of making all the components of a lasagna is easy — the art of layering each of the components in, well that is an art.
Here’s what you’ll need (for 6 servings in a dish of the above size): 1/2 pound of ground beef, 1/2 pound of chorizo, 16 oz spaghetti/ragu sauce, 1 pound cottage cheese, 1 and 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and about 5 lasagna noodles (broken to fit the dish).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large pan over medium heat, brown ground beef and chorizo. Drain the grease and add the spaghetti/ragu sauce. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together cottage cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella, 1 egg, 1/4 parmesan cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- To assemble, spread 3/4 cup of sauce mixture in the bottom of your baking dish. Cover with 3 noodles, 1 and 3/4 cup of cheese mixture, and 1/4 cup of sauce. Repeat this step twice, adding two more layers. After you’ve topped with the final noodles, add remaining sauce, and remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Cover your dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Bake uncovered for another 10 minutes.
- Once your dish is out, let it rest for 15 – 20 minutes before serving.
For all your lasagna master chefs out there — I would love to hear some of your tips! Soupy lasagna is still better than no lasagna, but I would love to be able to make one that comes out beautifully and conquer the beast! Sound off in the comments with your suggestions, or even your favorite lasagna recipe.
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