Lasagna Italiano

A Good Weekend is one which makes you regret waking up the next day for work ! Good Morning all you beautiful people .. I am back with a recipe that I am pretty sure will make you wonder, does she really think its easy ? Well believe me IT IS ! Like I have said before .. Cooking is really not rocket science.

Lasagne is originally from Italy and is a flat sheet of pasta that is layered with Bolognese ( meat sauce ) sauce, Bechamel sauce and lots of cheese ! You have to cut through the slice, like a cake with your fork and once you pop it into your mouth its like a burst of flavours. After one slice, I was thoroughly full .. But that did not stop me from having some more !

Waiting to know the method of preparation ? Well I won’t wait any longer as I am pretty sure your mouth is watering already at the thought of it. So here we go !

SHOPPING LIST :

  • 600 gms Beef mince
  • 2 pkts Mushrooms – finely chopped
  • 2 Large White Onions -finely chopped
  • 8 Garlic Cloves – finely chopped
  • 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 small packets of Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tbsps Sugar
  • Mix Italian Herbs
  • Paprika Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped Parsley
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 stick Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • 3 cups Grated Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Packet Lasagna Sheets

First of all, lets start with making the Bolognese sauce. Prep up all the vegetables and wash the meat.

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In a large vessel, heat up some olive oil with a little butter and throw in the garlic and onions. Keep stirring till the onions turn transparent and add the sugar. Now you can put in the Minced meat and keep cutting it while you stir to ensure the meat separates. If you have a Maggi Stock seasoning cube, then add one of that.

After the meat browns, add in the mushrooms and cook it till the mushrooms soften a bit then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and keep stirring till it coats the meat and mushrooms. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and let it simmer for 15 mins or until the sauce thickens. Lastly, add the chopped parsley and leave it aside to cool.

Next we prepare the bechamel sauce. You can get ready made packets in the supermarket, however I prepare making my own sauce fresh. They say, a true chef is known for the bechamel they prepare. If it is smooth and not lumpy, go ahead ! Knight yourself as a Chef !

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Put 2 tbsps of butter in a saucepan and keep it on low flame. DO NOT LET THE BUTTER BURN ! After the butter melts, add the flour and stir it slowly until all the flour and butter form a blonde paste. Slowly add in the the milk, around 3 tbsps at a time and stir it vigorously to avoid forming lumps. Once you see the texture of the sauce is silky and thick. Take it off from the heat and place a butter paper on top so that a skin doesn’t form.

Now in a large vessel, fill up water until its 3/4th full and add 5 tbsps salt and a little oil. Let it come to a rolling boil, and slowly drop in the lasagna sheets ( around 3 at a time). Don’t let it become too soft as they will break when you remove them. If you let it boil for 3 minutes, it should get done. Do remember to cook the pasta simultaneously while layering so that you can get a better picture as to h ow many pasta sheets you should prepare.

Now the fun part .. LAYERING ! I was so caught up in that part that I forgot to click pictures of it. Hence I hope you are able to visualize the same as you read on 🙂 I made only two layers for this recipe as it is easier and less time consuming. So let the fun begin !

First of all, preheat your oven for around 15 mins. In a large baking tray or PYREX (Glass) baking dish, add some butter to grease all the corners. On the bottom start placing the lasagna sheets, overlapping the sides so that the sauces don’t flow out from gaps. Then pour some of the Bolognese sauce on top and spread it out till it covers the layer of lasagna sheet. Next cover it with another layer of lasagna sheets, and then pour over the bechamel sauce and spread it out again. Sprinkle some grated cheese and cover it with a final layer of Pasta sheets. Now you can spread the rest of the cheese on top and pop the dish into the oven to bake. You have to keep checking to see that the cheese on top doesn’t burn.

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Once its done, take it out from the oven ( make sure to wear your oven mitts ! ) and let it cool before cutting it up into large square slices to serve !

Not complicated, not messy .. It is purely that simple to prepare and best done during the weekend where you can enjoy it with family and friends over a movie or board game ( Monopoly is our current favourite obsession ! )

Do not forget to let me know how it went especially regarding the Bechamel sauce ! Suggestions and questions are always welcome 🙂 Until next time and next recipe .. Happy eating !

ARRIVEDERCI ! (Goodbye ! in Italian )

Cheers !

L.P.G xx

 

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