No Toil-No Boil Lasagna

No toil-no boil lasagna: You don't need a lot of layers to create an Italian classic.
BY SHERREL JONES Published: October 17, 2012
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No toil-no boil lasagna

Think easy when making lasagna with this simplified version of an Italian classic.

Collaborating with chef Chris Becker of Della Terra Pasta gave me a new perspective on lasagna: all that satisfying flavor of lasagna as I knew it layered into just a few exquisite layers of Italian bliss. You have to make it to believe it. Of course, you can add more layers, including linear slices of zucchini or eggplant or even spinach, but you will love the simplicity of this recipe. Besides, how often do you get to stir in a paper towel?

Makes 4 generous servings.

1 pound of Italian sausage; remove casings, if necessary; crumple into pan

1 onion, diced small (about ¾ to 1 cup)

1 clove garlic, minced

Optional: 1 or 2 paper towels

1 large (28-ounce) can tomatoes (Cento or San Marzano for best results)

Crushed fennel seed, oregano, thyme, parsley, basil, if desired, but most Italian sausage supplies ample seasoning

Sheets of lasagna pasta to make 3 or 4 layers in baking dish (9-by-9-inch, 8-by-8-inch or 7-by-13-inch oval or rectangular dishes work)

Optional: 1 (15-ounce) tub ricotta cheese

2 (8 ounce) balls buffalo-style mozzarella cheese (presliced or sliced as thin as possible)

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AT A GLANCE

Cooking notes

San Marzano tomatoes have a lovely Italian essence, but other varieties of whole stewed tomatoes may be used. I loved the results using Cento brand of tomatoes.

Della Terra pasta

Look for Della Terra fresh lasagna pasta to be widely available in early November. Until then you will find the dried version exclusively at the Urban Agrarian Market (in the old public market area at 1235 SW 2 St., 231-1919). You will love these easy, no-boil sheets of locally produced pasta for making lasagna. I can imagine the fresh ones will be even easier to use.

cleaning up stuck-on cheese

Use cool water to remove cheese with ease. After rinsing with warm or hot water, switch to cool tap and watch the stuck-on cheese roll up and disappear from the dish.

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