A hearty dish, considered one of the staples of the Italian cuisine. Often made for family gatherings and special occasions like Christmas. Served in many variations representing the region’s classic ingredients. It used to be called pasticcio means mess!
This dish is something to truly relish, served to satisfy and comfort. I don’t promise you a quick dish, it needs time and care but not difficult!
My favorite so far, is the classic lasagne alla bolognese where meat sauce (ragu) and bechamel (Besciamella) are the major play. It’s called classic Emilian lasagne coming from Emilia region.
For the ragu you will need:
- 500g ground beef
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- large onion chopped finely
- half cup carrots diced finely
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1/2 cup tomato diced
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp dried oregano (optional)
Heat the oil and cook the onion and carrot until fragrant and soft. Add the meat and cook to brown.
Pour the wine and continue to cook over medium heat until almost all the liquid is evaporated. Add the tomato puree and simmer. The longer the better (italians take it up to 2 hours), but i guess one hour is ok!
For the besciamella you will need:
- 75g butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- 3 cups milk
- 2 tsp salt
- dash of nutmeg (optional)
Heat the butter until melted but not colored. Add the flour and cook for few minutes until light golden brown. Add the milk one cup at a time and whisk continuously until smooth. Bring to boil then cook for 30 seconds before removing from heat. It should be just a little looser than usual for lasagne. Season with salt and nutmeg (optional). If you are cheese lover, you can add a handful grated parmesan to the bechamel to give it rich flavor.
To assemble you will need:
- grated mozzarella to taste (enough to add between layers and to end up), I use almost 200g and 50g of parmesan (optional)
- 500g dried pasta (i use lasagne verdi, made with spinach)
Use a rectangular or square casserole dish, keeping in mind that a larger one will produce less layers and a smaller one will produce more.
For the dried pasta (that doesn’t need pre-boiling), allow me to suggest Barilla, amazing for lasagne, I use lasagne verdi, made with spinach (con spinaci bolognesi).
Start with a layer of ragu, lay down pasta sheets, add another layer of ragu to cover followed by bechamel and a sprinkle of mozzarella. Repeat (pasta – ragu – bechamel – mozzarella) until you finish by a layer of ragu, bechamel and heavier layer of mozzarella ( mixed with parmesan or emmental for a deeper flavor).
Bake at 180°C for about 30-45 minutes, depending on the thickness, depth and size of your lasagne. It should be golden brown on top and the sauce bubbling.
A tip: let the lasagne rest for 10-15 minutes after you take it out from the oven. This way the cutting will be easier. This quantity yields 4 generous portions. But i don’t know if it will make 4 with my husband. Antoun is a lasagne lover, he can live on it.
This recipe was a special request from my dearest aunt liliane, I hope you will like it. Buon appetito!