Michael Symon's Simple Tip For Mess-Free Lasagna

In the vast pantheon of all-star Italian-American dishes — from baked ziti to fettuccine Alfredo to chicken parmesan (via Serious Eats) — lasagna truly stands out. Essentially a layered casserole of wide, flat noodles, sauce, and fillings that range from ground meat to vegetables to shredded cheese, lasagna is a favorite food of so many, but it definitely holds a special place in the heart of Michael Symon, chef and "The Next Iron Chef" judge.

Symon, who hails from a Greek and Sicilian family, recounted how his Italian mother Angel's homemade lasagna was a neighborhood hit growing up in Cleveland, Ohio (via Food Network). "Every Wednesday at my parents' house was lasagna night — the night all my friends begged to eat over," he told Food & Wine. "You could smell the lasagna baking houses away, and Wednesday was the only night of the week I was more than happy to be early for dinner. I've eaten lasagna from every corner of the earth, and I have yet to find one as good as Mom's."

Michael Symon's trick for layering ricotta into lasagna is mess-free

In 2017, reports Food & Wine, chef Michael Symon opened Atlantic City's Angeline, an ode to his mother Angel and her delicious Italian-American food. On the menu, he features "Mom's Lasagna," a towering, 30-layer square that's a nod to Angel and the lasagna of Symon's youth. The dish features meaty red sauce, plus mozzarella and ricotta cheeses, and for that latter ingredient, Symon's kitchen employs a trick he picked up from — who else? — his mom.

In order to layer the ricotta into the lasagna without having to plop it with a big spoon and spread it out, which can create a mess and mar the layers of red sauce, Symon first transfers the ricotta mixture to a Ziplock or piping bag, then neatly pipes it into the lasagna. "That way it goes right where you want it to go, and you don't have to fight with it," he told Food & Wine. "It spreads quickly and evenly." 

Symon's tip might be for restaurant use, but it would be just as easy to employ at home — and as a bonus, your kitchen might not take as long to clean up after lasagna night.