Okay, today is Day 3 of The Hell Of Lasagna, a mini-series inspired by my friend Jeffery who claims that making lasagna is easy. (I know, WTF, right?) If you missed Day 1 and want to catch up, click here. If you missed Day 2, click here. If you are bored with this whole exercise, just go watch Hulu or something.
As the next in what seems like an endless series of steps towards eating this damn dish, I was planning on roasting a chicken today. I should have roasted the chicken yesterday, probably, and made the white sauce today, instead of the other way around, but crabby cooks are not known for expertise in food organization.
Speaking of which, late this morning I realized that there’s a flaw in my cooking plan. I am going to New York tomorrow, which meant that I had no more room for procrastination. I had to finish this sucker today. Knowing I would not have the time or patience to roast a chicken AND boil the noodles AND assemble and bake a lasagna, I went to the market and bought a perfectly lovely, pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, and I ripped the flesh from its bones. I suggest you do the same. Then do as follows, per Jeffery’s recipe.
Click here to find out how the lasagna turns out.
1 pound DeCecco lasagna noodles
Tomato sauce (see Day 1)
Bechamel sauce (see Day 2)
2-3 cups shredded roasted chicken
8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese (part skim is for sissies)
8 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese, grated or sliced thin
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375¬º F.
2. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente (just tender). Drain the noodles and put them on a dishtowel to dry a little.
3. Pour about a cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 or similar baking dish. (Just make sure it’s deep, at least a good two inches.) Place a layer of noodles on top of the sauce. Schmear about ¾ of a cup of béchamel on top of the noodles. Place about half the chicken pieces on top of that. Cover with another layer of noodles.
4. Schmear the noodles with about half the ricotta, and sprinkle that with half the mozzarlla. Pour another heaping cup of tomato sauce over that, then add a layer of noodles, then béchamel, then the remaining chicken. Top with more noodles. YOU CAN STOP HERE IF YOU JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE, AND SKIP TO LAST STEP, OR shmear on the remaining ricotta and mozzarella and top with noodles.
5. Pour a generous amount of tomato sauce over the noodles to cover well. Sprinkle the whole thing with the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes, until the lasagna is hot and bubbly. Let it sit for a few minutes, then serve hot. ARE YOU CRABBY YET?
Note: you will probably have leftover béchamel sauce, as I did. You an throw it in a soup tomorrow, if you still feel like cooking.