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This my own recipe of Lasage, put together from several different traditional recipes from the Italian Grandma next door to the Italian chef at the restaurant.
I made this for some of my friends, including some real Italians, and all of them loved it!
For the Bolognese Sauce:
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 carrots, choped
1 stick of celery, choped
1 onion, choped
3 cloves of garlic, choped
1 sprig of Rosemary
1 lbs of ground beef
1/2 lbs of mushrooms, sliced
3 cups of sieved tomatoes, or get the peeled canned kind and crush them
salt, pepper, oregano, basil, sugar
For the Bechamel sauce:
1/2 quart of cold whole milk
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup of butter
salt, pepper, nutmeg
For the Rest:
Lasagne Plates, the kind you don't have to pre-cook
2 cups of mozzarella cheese, grated
The Bolognese Sauce:
Starting out with our Bolognese Sauce, make sure you chop all the ingredients before starting to cook, else something might burn.
Heat the oil on medium in a big pot and add carrots, celery, onion, garlic and rosemary. Now, the rosemary you can put in whole and fish it out later, or, as I did, strip it off and chop it up.
Stir everything and make sure the garlic doesn't burn (else it will taste awful!). Cook for about 1-2 min.
Now add the ground beef, mix it well with the other ingredients. Keep on stirring until all the meat is cooked and then add the mushrooms. If you don't have fresh ones, you can also use the canned kind.
Give everything a stir so the ingredients are well mixed.
Pour in the tomatoes, if you use the canned stuff, add some water, so the sauce doesn't get too thick.
Season to taste (just half a tsp of sugar brings out the taste better and covers the tomato acid).
Cook for about 20-30 min., checking and stirring every now and then. This sauce can easily be prepared the day before, or used imediately.
The Bechamel sauce:
This can be tricky and can easily burn. If you want to be on the safe side, you can use the ready-made stuff, it's great too.
Melt the butter on low heat in a thick bottomed pot.
When the foam on the top of the butter disappears add the flour. Don't brown the butter!
Stir well and cook for about 5-6 min. And keep on stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn.
Now add the milk by thirds and stirr it in completely.
Stir in seasoning.
Carfully bring the sauce up to a simmer (small bubles), and keep it there for about 10 min. You don't have to turn up the heat.
This is makes a medium thick sauce, and when it simmers it doesn't get much thicker. You can make this while the Bolognese sauce is cooking.
Now for the grand finally:
Preheat the oven to 375-400 °F/180-200 °C (this depends on your oven)
Take a casserol and cover the bottom with some Bolognese Sauce, then add the first layer of lasagne plates, break off the edges or corners to cover everything, then cover everything with an even layer of Bolognese Sauce and then some Bechamel sauce. The Bechamel doesn't have to be everywhere, if it is drizzled on across so all parts have a bit it's ok. Repeat the layers (Pasta, Bolognese, Bechamel) until the edge of the casserol is reached or you run out of sauce ;-)
Cover everything with a layer of Mozzarella cheese. You can mix in some Parmesan if you like.
Put in the oven for 30-45 min. If the cheese starts to burn, cover it with some aluminum foil.
Check with a toothpick if the Lasagne is done.
This dish can also be easily be prepared ahead of time and then just popped into the oven. If you use hot sauce, or if you let the uncooked dish rest, it might be done a bit quicker; if you use cold sauce, it might take the whole 45 min, or even a few min. longer.
I hope you like it: Enjoy! Buon Appetito!