Authentic italian lasagna recipe2013-01-15
- Cuisine: Italian
- Servings : 8/10
- Prep Time : 2:20 h
- Cook Time : 55m
- Ready In : 3:20 h
Lasagna, I think, is one of the most known Italian pasta dishes worldwide. It’s a popular dish everywhere in Italy and is often associated with sundays with the family. Making lasagna is not so hard or difficult but it takes a while to prepare it properly.
The key to prepare a fantastic lasagna is the tomato sauce. Usually is made with minced pork and beef, but if you don’t like meat you can prepare it also without it.
The other focal point in preparing the authentic italian lasagna is the bechamel, this white sauce makes this dish tender and creamy and gives it a unique texture.
Last but not least is the pasta: you can prepare it yourself or use the one you buy in the stores, either fresh or dried, but it has to be made with quality ingredients. When I’m in a hurry or I don’t want to spend time preparing the pasta I usually use the dried one, it’s really quick to use and you don’t even have to cook it first. To prepare a perfect lasagna with dried pasta sheets there’s a basic trick: you have to make the bechamel and the tomato sauce very liquid, this way the pasta sheets will absorb all the excess moisture and cook properly.
As usual I like to prepare a lasagna with a little less fat that the regular one, this way you can preserve the original taste but indulge a little more!
If you want to make your own pasta follow the recipe on the home made pasta page. To make lasagne out of it you have to cut it into 10x15cm rectangles.
Now let’s checkout all the basic ingredients to make an authentic italian lasagna:
- For the tomato sauce:
- 800gr of canned tomatoes puree
- 400gr of minced meat (pork and beef)
- 3 italian sausages
- 1/2 carrot
- 1/2 celery stalk
- 1/2 onion
- 400ml of water
- 2 tablespoon of oil
- For the white sauce:
- 1lt low fat milk
- For the roux: 30gr of butter and 4 tbsp of regular flour
- a pinch of grounded nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 300gr of mozzarella cheese
- 150gr of greated parmigiano
- A glass of red wine
First you'll need to prepare the sauce: chop finely the onion, the carrot and the celery. Heat a sauce pan, add the oil and the veggies and let them cook for a couple of minutes. If you like you can add chili pepper. Add the minced meat and the sausages and stir fry until the meat changes color (il will turn slightly grey). Add a glass of red wine (you can also use white if you don't have red) and let it evaporate. Add the tomato puree and the water, mix well then add the salt and pepper and let it cook for about a couple of hours at low heat. Stir from time to time and check the sauce, if it's too dry add a little water.
Then prepare the bechamel. Make a roux melting the butter in a pan with the flour. Transfer the roux in a bowl. Then bring the milk to a boil, then pour it on the roux while stirring with a whisk to make the mixture melt. Pour the milk back into the pot, add the grounded nutmeg, salt and bring it again to a boil while stirring. It will start to thicken. Boil for a few minutes, until it becomes thick as a cream. Remove from the stove and cover with a plastic wrap. Lay the wrap onto the surface to avoid drying.
Cook the pasta: bring the water to a boil, add salt and cook a few sheets of pasta at a time for three minutes. In the meantime prepare a large bowl with icy water. Drain the pasta with a kitchen tong or a fork and put it into the water to stop the cooking process.
Now it's time to assemble the lasagne: prepare the saucepan with the tomato sauce, the bowl with the pasta, the white sauce, the mozzarella cheese chopped finely and the parmigiano near the baking tray (40x30cm) where you're going to cook the lasagna. Start by spreading a spoonful of tomato and white sauce on the base of the tray. Then layer the pasta until the bottom is covered. Add a ladle of tomato sauce, white sauce, sprinkle some parmigiano and a little mozzarella cheese. Keep layering all the ingredients. If you want a crispy lasagna you should add more parmigiano on top and less on the inside.
Cook the lasagna in the oven at 200°C (about 390°F) for about 45 to 55 minutes. It depends on how crispy you like the top.