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A Nice Lasagna

"A Nice Lasagna"

Course Dinner


For the sauce

  • Two 28-oz cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup crème fraîche

For assembling

  • 12 no-boil oven ready lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large handfuls fresh basil leaves torn into small pieces if large


For the sauce

  1. In a large bowl, crush the tomatoes with your clean hands until they are in bite-size pieces. (This is surprisingly enjoyable and recommended as a job for kids... I generally don't trust the cleanliness of my kids' hands, so we would be doing a good, long scrubbing before I let them put their hands in food I'm preparing).
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil, add the garlic, and cook, stirring, until it begins to sizzle, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer, stirring every so often, until it is slightly reduced, about 30 minutes.
  3. Whisk the crème fraîche into the sauce and season to taste with salt. Set the sauce aside to cool to room temperature.

For the lasagna

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Ladle a thin layer of room-temperature sauce onto the bottom of a 9-by-13-in baking dish. Spread the sauce with a spoon to cover the surface of the dish. Add a layer of 3 sheets of pasta. Spoon over just enough tomato sauce to cover the pasta and then scatter over some of the Parmesan, mozzarella, and basil. Repeat the layering process until you’ve used up all of your components (4 layers of noodles; I do one layer with the lasagna vertically as pictured, the next horizontal, breaking the third piece in half). End with sauce and cheese (not naked pasta or basil, both of which would burn if exposed).

  3. Bake the lasagna, uncovered, until it’s gorgeously browned and the edges are bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes, just like you would a steak, before slicing and serving. This lets the pasta fully absorb all of the bubbling sauce, so you don’t end up with soupy slices.


Source: Once Upon a Chef, originally from Julia Turshen's Small Victories