Lasagne


For Italian purists, lasagna is an occasion. The layered pasta dish is a labor of love to create, from mixing and rolling homemade noodles to making sauce from scratch to carefully layering the meat, cheese and noodles. It’s a special occasion dish that, done right, is a true showstopper. (Taste of home)

Lasagne are a type of pasta, possible one of the oldest types made of very wide flat sheets and made of stacked layers of lasagne alternating with fillings such as ragu (ground meat and tomato sauce), vegetables, cheeses and seasonings and spices, topped with cheese which melts after baking.  The resulting casserole is cut into single-serving square portions. (Wikipedia)

Ingredients

  • 500 gm. Or 24 sheets Lasagne noodles
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, or as required
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, or as required
  • 9” x 13” dish, for assembling and baking the lasagne

Meat sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. oil or butter melted (I have used olive oil)
  • 3 to 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 lbs. ground beef or lamb
  • 2 14 oz (500 gms. each) can/bottle bolognaise sauce
  • 1 tsp. mixed herbs (oregano & basil)
  • 2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 2 cups beef stock (made with 2 beef stock cubes)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

White sauce:

  • 100 gms. butter
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1.5 litres milk
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • ½ tsp. pepper powder or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

To make the meat sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion until soft.  Add the meat and fry till completely browned and liquid has almost evaporated.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Adjust the seasonings, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For white sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and gradually add the milk.  Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring, reduce heat and cook until thickened, but of pouring consistency. Add cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

Lasagne noodles:  Some noodles require to be pre-cooked, some need to be dipped in hot water before assembling.  The lasagne sheets that I have used in this preparation are ready to use (as per directions on the box).  The Box also stated to cover the dish with foil before placing in the oven. I don’t usually cover the dish and bake it open but it is better to follow instructions on the pasta packaging for best results.  So I baked it for 20 minutes covered with foil, then removed the foil covering and completed the baking.

Grease a shallow rectangle or square dish and grease with olive oil, line with the lasagne sheets, followed with meat sauce, white sauce and repeat the layers then top with the mozzarella cheese.  Then sprinkle parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil. 

Bake in a preheated moderate oven (180 dec C/350 deg F), for 45 minutes.

Cover with foil for first 20 minutes, then remove and complete baking, uncovered.

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