Patience is a virtue you’ll need when serving this dish.

Iain Bagwell

When the cool weather sets in, there are few dishes that are more comforting than a piping hot casserole of homemade lasagna. It’s also one of the simplest recipes to throw together, which makes it a weeknight winner. (Some lasagna recipes, like this one from our Test Kitchen experts, don’t even require you to boil the noodles!) But it’s not all fun and games with the Italian baked pasta dish: So often, when it comes time to cut the lasagna, things fall apart. Your once-pristine strata of ricotta, tomato sauce, and ground beef slides into ruin, and while still delicious, it’s not the pretty dish you were hoping to serve the church youth or your mother-in-law. But a little bit of patience—and the right tool—can save your lasagna from disaster, says Senior Food Editor Lisa Cericola.

Tempting though it is to slice into your meaty, cheesy lasagna the second you pull it from the oven, wait at least ten minutes before attempting to serve it. This way, you’ll give the layers a chance to rest and then set. “Lasagna is a lot like an apple pie," says Lisa. "If you cut it straight out of the oven, it will fall apart."

And once you’ve waited patiently for the lasagna to cool, it’s important to think about your technique. While it may seem less time-consuming or involved to dive into the casserole spatula-first and just serve it from there, Lisa recommends starting with a chef’s knife instead. “I like to cut my squares first with a chef’s knife,” she says. “Then I like to scoop out the slices with a large, flexible silicone spatula, like the ones you use for brownies. You can really get under the lasagna to scoop it, without leaving half of it in the pan.”

Problem solved. Happy lasagna season, y’all.

WATCH: Heavenly Chicken Lasagna

What’s your go-to comfort food on weeknights? Share it with us in the comments.