Lasagna is the perfect party dish

February 09, 2005|By Carole Kotkin | Carole Kotkin,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

A great party is something people remember, which is why you should serve the perfect buffet dish: lasagna. It's virtually a one-dish meal, and it's an inexpensive way to feed a crowd.

Lasagna does require a fair amount of prep work, but when it's done, you're done.

Like other pastas, it's open to interpretation. You can make it with meat, poultry, seafood or vegetables, a marinara or bechamel sauce.

Whatever combinations you choose, these tips will help you make memorable lasagna:

To keep the noodles from clumping together, drop just a few at a time into a pot of boiling water. When they are cooked almost al dente, transfer them with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water and then place on a kitchen towel to drain. Repeat with the remaining noodles.

If you use vegetables in the filling, saute, roast or grill them first to enhance flavor.

Nothing is as good as homemade pasta, but commercially made fresh pasta is fine and is widely available. If you use dried noodles, choose an Italian brand; they're thinner and lighter.

No-boil lasagna noodles have convenience going for them and are also thinner than other dried noodles. (If you use them with your old recipes, add about 1/4 cup liquid to the sauce.)

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