The sky was blue and clear today, and I only managed to spend a few minutes out in it. This is largely because I spent the afternoon putting together one large lasagna to bring to my friends' house (they just had a baby) and two small lasagnas for me to eat for lunches this week.
I firmly believe that the secret to delicious lasagna is extra sauce. Also extra cheese. If I have learned anything about making lasagna in my day, the following things are true:
1. There is no such thing as too much parmesan cheese. This is an absolute truth as it pertains to lasagna but also just about everything else. (There is such a thing as too much mozzarella.)
2. Use Newman's Own Marinara. This is a no acceptable substitutes sort of situation. All other spaghetti sauce (other than homemade) is inferior. (Other sauces can be combined with Newman's Own Marinara, but it must be understood that at least half the sauce should be Newman's Own Marinara for the lasagna to be any good.)
3. You will need at least twice as much sauce as the recipe anticipates. The recipe I used today called for two cups of sauce. I used four jars of sauce in what was essentially two lasagnas. And I ran out. I am going to have to buy another jar of Newman 's Own Marinara to add to the last lasagna as I eat the pieces.
4. One should apply freshly ground black pepper between each layer of noodles. It doesn't really matter if it is on the ricotta layer or the sauce layer, but there should be black pepper ground onto the lasagna before you add the next layer of noodles. Additional black pepper should be applied to the top, on top of the cheese layer.
My mom also swears by extra ricotta, but I am not a big soft white cheese fan, so I skip that. I often have extra ricotta at the end. It's the sauce that makes things work.
My friends raved about the lasagna, of which they ate multiple servings while I held their perfect little munchkin all curled up in a little ball against my chest.