The Easiest Ways To Elevate Your Lasagna, According To A Chef

According to Insider, there are more than 50 unique types of pasta in the world (and that's not even including all of the different shapes and sizes!). Penne, rigatoni, spaghetti, fusilli ... the list goes on and on. While you could consider almost any pasta dish Italian comfort food — there's just something about the combination of carbs and cheese that warms the soul — one truly reigns supreme: lasagna. You might know lasagna as the popular casserole, but it's actually a type of noodle that's wide and flat in shape like a ribbon and often made with eggs and flour (per La Cucina Italiana). 

Of course, the traditional way to consume lasagna noodles — and the way that most Americans are likely familiar with — is by arranging the pasta in a dish with alternating layers of sauce and cheese before baking it in the oven. You can find tons of variations on the classic lasagna recipe online, including lasagna made with meat, Alfredo sauce, and any other number of interesting ingredients. 

However, if you want to take your lasagna to the next level, there are a few easy hacks. And Mashed consulted a pasta expert to find out the secrets to making the perfect lasagna.

The best lasagna depends on the ingredients and the process

In its most basic form, lasagna is a dish that almost anyone can make, which is why it's often a staple at pot lucks and parties. But it can also be easy to mess up, if you don't know exactly what you're doing. You could end up with burnt edges, an undercooked interior, or a soppy and soggy mess at the bottom of your pan. Fortunately, there are a few tricks to making the best lasagna. 

According to Lorenzo Boni, executive chef at Barilla America, it all starts with how you construct the dish. "You want to grease the pan and start with the sauce so that the pasta doesn't burn on the bottom," he says, adding that you only need about 1/3 inch of sauce. After baking, he suggests letting your lasagna sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Chef Boni also says that the ingredients you use will make all the difference. His favorite type of cheese is Parmigiano, but he also likes fontina, asiago, mozzarella, and ricotta. Above all, however, he recommends getting creative with whatever else you want to mix in. "The beauty of lasagna is that it is a great platform to build on; it goes great with any vegetables, proteins, and cheeses," he says.