Lasagna
Laura's favorite
🎯
Medium ·
🕓
3 Hours ·
🇮🇹
Italian

Ingredients

Meat

  • 500g ground beef (1 lb.)
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground fennel seed
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Tomato Sauce

  • 800g whole peeled tomatos (2 cans)
  • 400g passata (1 can)
  • 400ml red wine (~1.5-2 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 4-6 button mushrooms / champignons (optional)
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf

Bechamel (White) Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 500ml milk (2 cups, 2-4% fat is best)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Other

  • 1 package lasagna noodles
  • 250g mozzarella (whole, not shredded)

Directions

The tomato sauce needs to simmer for a long time, so start with that.
Finely dice the carrots, mushrooms, bell pepper and onion. Peel and crush the garlic.
In a pot, heat a couple tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the carrots until they start to soften, then add the mushrooms. Once they start to brown, add the pepper and onion and continue to stir occasionally until the onions become clear, then add the crushed garlic.
Sprinkle the sugar over the top. Let the sugar melt (about a minute), then douse with red wine vinegar. Stir in the red wine, tomato products and spices and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to barely simmering and ideally move the pot to an out of the way burner.
In a separate pan, cook the ground beef then drain or rinse away most of the fat and return to medium heat. Push the meat out the center to clear a hole in the middle of the pan. Add the tomato paste and spices and let them roast for a minute or two before mixing everything together. Adding a splash of water can help to mix things together. Once everything's mixed together and the water has cooked off, add the meat to the tomato sauce and give it a stir.
Now let the sauce simmer covered for at least 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. About an hour before you want to eat, get started on the bechamel. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Make sure the milk is easily reachable and sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and whisk in. Whisk for a few seconds until the flour and butter have combined to a silky mass. Add about 50ml (1/4 cup) of milk and whisk continually as it heats up. Once it's reached a uniform consistency, add another 50ml of milk, whisk and repeat until you have a thick, creamy sauce. Season with black pepper and nutmeg.
Add the milk slowly and in small portions! Always wait for the consistency to become uniform before adding more milk in order to prevent clumps from forming.
Build the lasagna by putting a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a baking dish, then layering noodles, tomato sauce, bechamel, noodles, tomato sauce, bechamel, ...
Once the assembly is complete, top with mozzaralla. Squish and tear the ball of cheese into chunks and spread evenly on top of the lasagna. Sprinkle some dried oregano over the top for decoration and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C / 375°F until the cheese is browned and the sauce is bubbling up around the edges (about 20 minutes).

Variations

The carrot, onions and garlic are essential, but the mushrooms can be left out if desired.
For a vegetarian lasagna, just leave out the meat mixture and add some more vegetables such as extra mushrooms or zucchini.
The wine can also be skipped, but that will change the flavor and (obviously) reduce the amount of liquid in the sauce, so you'll probably have to make some extra adjustments to make up for it.
Last modified 9mo ago