Dinner, Entrées, Lunch

Italian Lasagna

There are few things that are as comforting and satisfying as a classic Italian meat lasagna. I remember how my family would go to Italian restaurants every once in a while after my mom started learning the language and everyone was so into pizza. But all I wanted was lasagna.

If nothing can make me leave the house, the prospect of a steaming hot lasagna can. It’s my ultimate guilty pleasure and – I admit – I have been eating cold lasagna out of the fridge for breakfast in the morning.

After all these revelations, it’s time to reveal the recipe which is a very classic one from Northern Italy. It combines a hearty meat sauce with a creamy bechamel sauce, lasagna pasta sheets, and just a little bit of mozzarella and parmesan on top.

*The recipe below is the direct ‘make & bake’ way. The dish is perfectly suited to prep in advance. Simply cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to 4 weeks. To serve, let come to room temperature and bake as directed.

Italian Lasagna

Recipe by Tobias
Servings

6 – 8

servings
Prep time

45

minutes
Cooking time

4

hours 
Baking Time

30 – 45

minutes

Ingredients

  • Meat Sauce
  • 1 lb / 450g Ground Beef

  • 1 lb / 450g Ground Pork

  • 1 medium Onion, diced

  • 3 stalks of Celery, diced

  • 3 Carrots, diced

  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced

  • 3 tbsp Tomato Paste

  • 24 oz / large can of San Marzano tomatoes

  • 1 cup / 240ml dry White Wine

  • 1 tbsp Rosemary, minced

  • 1 tbsp Thyme, minced

  • 1 tbsp dried Oregano

  • 2 – 3 cups / 480 – 720ml Beef Broth

  • Salt, Pepper to taste

  • Bechamel Sauce
  • 4 tbsp / 60g unsalted Butter

  • 4 tbsp / 60g All-Purpose flour

  • 4 cups / 960ml Whole Milk

  • 1 cup / 100g Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated (optional)

  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg, freshly grated

  • Salt, Pepper to taste

  • For Assembling
  • 1 pack no-cook Lasagna Sheet (I like De Cecco)

  • 1 cup / 100g shredded Mozzarella

  • 1 cup / 100g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

Directions

  • Meat Sauce
  • Brown the ground beef in a very large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Salt and pepper right away.
  • Strain to get rid of excess fat and set aside.
  • In the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Salt, pepper, and brown for about 15 minutes stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic and stir until just fragrant, then add the tomato paste.
  • Roast for another 5 minutes and deglaze the pot with the white wine, making sure to get all the browned bits from the bottom.
  • Add the tomatoes and herbs, stir, salt, pepper, and add the meat back in.
  • Top off with the beef broth. You want the broth to almost reach the top of the meat. Stir everything, cover, and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
  • Tilt the lid and simmer for another hour to thicken the sauce.Picture of a pot of meat sauce for lasagna
  • Bechamel Sauce
  • Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan.
  • Add the flour, whisk, and cook for at least a minute to get rid of any flour taste in your finished sauce.
  • Add the milk, all at once and whisk everything together.
  • Add nutmeg, salt, pepper, and bring to a boil, whisking very frequently.
  • Once the sauce has thickened enough, turn off the heat and – if using – stir in the parmesan cheese until it is well incorporated.Picture of a pot of bechamel sauce for the lasagna
  • Assembling
  • ‘m using a 9×9 baking dish that happens to be very deep. If your isn’t very deep, you might be better off with a 9×15 dish.
  • Put a little bit of sauce into the bottom of your dish and spread it evenly.
  • Lay down a layer of pasta. It doesn’t have to be perfect but should cover most of the surface. You can break/cut the sheets to make little pieces to fit corners.
  • Put some meat sauce over the pasta sheets and spread. You want a nice thin layer over sauce.
  • Sprinkle some of the Bechamel sauce over the pasta sauce. It doesn’t have to be fully covered, it will spread during the baking anyway.
  • Repeat steps 3 – 5 until you either run out of an ingredient or your dish is full.
  • Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350° Fahrenheit for 30 – 45 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.
  • Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting it, so the lasagna can set.
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