I love making lasagna (or any Italian food really) for my family, there’s something so satisfying about the hot melted gooey cheese with the meat and the tomato sauce all mixing together into one delicious mouthful.
But I have at times ran into the problem of cooking my lasagne in a pan which is not the right size, either too small or too big, and it doesn’t cook properly or I end up with too much or too little.
Therefore, I will describe what I consider to be the best type of pan to provide lasagna for a family or larger group…
Is there a definitive ‘lasagna pan size’?
From the point of view of depth, the pan should be around 3 inches deep so as to allow for a sufficient number of layers of pasta and filling to be built up.
My personal view on the size of the pan would be to use a rectangular pan of 13 X 9 inches to provide the ‘perfect’ lasagna’.
Regarding the pan’s material, I use glass or sometimes ceramic pans for my lasagna.
Obviously, the number of dinner guests will be a significant factor in the size of the pan used.
However, I would recommend using two pans to make two lasagnas for a larger party rather than use a pan of a size greater than the ‘perfect’ 13 X 9 X 3 inches.
Conversely, for a small number of guests a smaller size pan can be used but should be rectangular in shape and the regulation three inches in depth.
Lasagna pan materials
As I have indicated before, I use glass or ceramic pans when preparing lasagna.
Metal pans are available but have a number of factors, positive and negative, which mean I prefer not to use them.
The positive factors regarding metal dishes are that they are easier to ‘heat up’ than ceramic or glass and the lasagna cooked in a metal pan will always have the ‘brown’ edges which are so attractive, and tasty, when served up.
Negative issues include a possible ‘metallic’ taste noticed by some people when eating lasagna cooked in aluminium or cast iron pans.
The reason for this unwanted taste could be due to the acidity of the tomato sauce reacting with the metal.
Stainless steel would be my choice if I had to use a metal pan.
Using a glass or ceramic pan will mean the cooking time will be a little longer, around ten minutes more, and the cooking temperature will be around 25 degrees lower than if using a metal pan.
The extra time is required due to the glass and ceramic pans not being so good at conducting heat as the metal ones.
So does size matter?
In the case of the perfect lasagna I would choose a glass pan of 13 X 9 X 3 inches to produce lasagna for a family group.
I consider the depth of pan, at three inches, to be ‘set in stone’ and should not be changed even if the pan length or width is increased or reduced.
The shape of the pan should always be rectangular.
As I previously mentioned, if you are expecting a larger group of guests then it is much better to use two, or more, pans to cook the lasagna than to use one large pan.
What about the ingredients?
Of course, even the perfect lasagna pan will be useless without the use of quality ingredients.
I choose either dried or fresh pasta, depending on the time I have available, ground beef, ricotta and mozzarella cheese.
Occasionally, I will add a little spinach to the layers and create what is known as ‘Lasagna Verde’.
For the best lasagna
The best lasagna will be welcomed by your guests only if you use the correct ingredients and cooking pan.
Served with salad and garlic bread lasagna is always a favorite with everyone.