I never tend to order lasagna when I’m in a restaurant. I feel like lasagna is the least fanciest of the pasta group, which seems strange because it’s actually much more complicated to make than many other pasta dishes. I realized this fact once again while G was preparing and finally making it one rainy weekend. But I still don’t think I will order it.
Oven ready lasagna pasta. A must.
The Besciamella is what makes lasagna so good, creamy and fatty. Mostly butter and milk, so yippie. To make Besciamella: you will need milk (500ml), butter (50g), flour (50g) and a punch of nutmeg and salt.
To make it: Melt the butter on a medium size pan. Add in the flour and whisk. Continue to mix until smooth and does not attach to the bottom of the pan. When it starts to become a dark yellow in color, add in the milk. Add in the nutmeg and lower the heat and mix until you get a smooth, a bit sticky consistency. Set aside until needed.
We made the Ragù sauce beforehand to make things easier. For the sauce, you can make your favorite meat sauce, but we go with G’s Ragù sauce. For this you need: onion (1), carrots (2), ground meat (300 g, preferably beef+pork), red wine (1 cup), salt and pepper, tomato paste (500 g), celery (1 stick), a pinch of nutmeg and teaspoon of dried basil or even fresh basil if you have and extra virgin olive oil.
To make it: Drizzle olive oil in a deep pot and cook chopped onion until brown. Add in grinded carrots, chopped up celery and keep over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the meat and brown. Add in cup of red wine. Add in salt, pepper, nutmeg. Add in the tomato paste and basil. Cook for around 20 minutes.
So lasagna the next day is better than the first day, Italian friends reminded me. And yup, they were right.
- Lasagna pasta.
- Ragù sauce.
- Besciamella, or Bechamel sauce
- Mozzarella: 3-4 depending on how much you like the cheese
- Parmigiano cheese
- (optional) Ham
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
- Drizzle some olive oil on a lasagna dish.
- Add in a thin layer of ragù sauce on the bottom of the dish.
- Add in layer of the lasagna pasta.
- Add in layer of the ragù sauce.
- Add in layer of Besciamella.
- Sprinkle mozzarella and parmigiano and ham.
- Continue this layer: Lasagna pasta-> ragù sauce->Besciamella->mozzarella and Parmigiano until the top. The very top should be Besciamella. (It can also be the cheese, but it tends to burn quite quickly.)
- Cover the dish with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Take off the foil after 30 minutes and bake for another 20 minutes so the top browns and gets crunchy.
All photos by rachelsanghee