This was one of the best meals I made and also froze. One lasagna has lasted our small family of 3 over a month. I decided to make a Bolognese sauce and a summer sauce a week prior. I now have any pasta lovers freezer, with different pasta sauces as well as delicious lasagna. After living in Italy 2.5 years I realized that the real way to make lasagna is to use Bechamel instead of Ricotta Cheese between the layers.
The Bolognese was already made, I just defrosted a giant tub, about 8 cups worth. Meanwhile, I started on the Bechamel. I usually just wing the recipe as I know what the consistency is supposed to be and the outcome always more or less is what I want. However, for you to follow I’ve tried to get the ingredients down. Mario Batalli’s Recipe is also a great one to follow if you want something more comprehensive. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/bechamel-sauce-recipe/index.html
My recipe is very similar.
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 4-5 minutes.
I add milk about 1 cup at a time while whisking continuously until very smooth. What differs from my recipe is I don’t heat the milk separately and add heated milk. I think I will try this technique next time. I also didn’t cook it to a boil…. either way, it needs to be a thick, smooth consistency. I do love to add tons of freshly grated nutmeg. Invest in a nutmeg mill and you will be thrilled with the results. The flavor from freshly ground nutmeg is amazing. So much I felt like eating the bechamel with a spoon, like a nice soup.
Recipe for the lasagna:
1 package of nice lasagna noodles
3 fresh tomatoes
1 big bunch of fresh basil
1 big ball of burrata-this was a splurge and is not necessary
1 pack of fresh mozzarella cheese
5-6 cups of Bolognese sauce. Vegetarians can use another sauce if they like, such as my Summer Sauce.
I then just started with a big lasagna pan. Make sure at this point you pre-heat the oven to 325 F. I first put a healthy layer of bolognaise sauce, I then added uncooked pasta, another layer of bechamel and bolognaise mixed, then pasta, then I tour apart the burrata and added chopped basil, the whole bunch. I then added more pasta, another layer of sauce, another layer of pasta, then more bechamel, sauce, pasta and then I ran out of everything. I sliced 3 fresh tomatoes, cut up some fresh mozzarella cheese and then layered the top of the last layer of pasta. I covered the lasagna with tin foil and let cook at 325 F for about 45 minutes. I uncovered it and turned up the oven to 350 F and let the rest cook and bubble. It was delicious and will be again tonight. I suggest you serve with a side salad. I used a mix of greens, romaine lettuce and arugula with a simple Dijon vinaigrette.
Dijon vinaigrette Recipe:
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar.
Mix the mustard and olive oil to a nice thick consistency, slowly add the vinegar while constantly whisking… and voila, a great dressing.
- Easy Bolognaise Pasta Sauce on a Budget (frugal.answers.com)
- Monday Menu ~ Baked pasta with béchamel & tomato sauce (withjustabitofmagic.com)
- Honeymoons in Culinary Hotspots (weddingwire.com)