Lasagne are probably the oldest wide flat pasta, the singular form of which is also known as Lasagna. Both the terms, singular and plural are often referred to as a dish made with several layers of lasagne sheets alternated with meat sauce, bechamel sauce and different cheese. This traditional Italian dish originated in a city of South Italy, Naples. Traditionally lasagne are layered with a thick meat sauce containing pork, beef, onion, celery, carrot, wine and oregano, called ragù. But different vegetables, such as spinach, zucchini, mushroom, and chicken can also be used to make the sauce. Bachemal sauce is often replaced with Ricotta cheese in different regions within and outside Italy in this oven baked pasta dish.
I am always fascinated by the grandeur of Italian foods which have its two most common forms in pizza and pasta. If I am in love with traditional pizzas, then it would not be exaggerating to state that I am absolutely crazy about Lasagne. Although it seemed an uphill task in the beginning to prepare Lasagne myself, I slowly collected all the ingredients and gave it a shot. Now as it has been a success I keep making different Lasagne, one of which I share with you over this post.
Ingredients to serve 4 :
- Lasagna sheet (uncooked) – 6-8
- Olive oil – 3 tbspoon
- Onion (finely chopped) – 2
- Minced garlic – 2 pods
- Celery stalk (finely chopped) – 1
- Carrot (finely chopped) – 1
- Pancetta – 100 gm.
- Minced beef – 175 gm.
- Minced pork – 175 gm.
- Canned chopped tomato -400 gm.
- Tomato puree – 2 tbspoon
- Beef stock – 150 ml.
- Boiling milk – 150 ml.
- Salt and pepper
- Clove – 1
- Bay leaf – 1
- Dried oregano – 2 teaspoon
- Egg – 1
- Unslated butter – 4 tbspoon
- Ricotta cheese – 250 gm.
- Mozzarella cheese (thinly sliced) – 150 gm.
- Parmesan cheese (grated) – 150
To make the meat sauce heat the olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan. Add the onion, celery, carrot, pancetta, beef and pork and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Add chopped tomato and garlic mince and cook until the tomato become mushy. Add about 2/3 of the stock, bring to the boil and cook until reduced. Combine the remaining stock and tomato puree and add to the pan. Season with salt, pepper and oregano, add the clove and bay leaf and pour in the milk. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1½ hours. Remove from the heat and discard the clove and bay leaf. Our meat sauce in now ready to assemble.
Cook the lasagna noodles in a plenty of boiling salted water until just tender (8-10 minutes). There is no need to cook them longer as they will cook in the oven. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water.
Transfer the ricotta cheese in a bowl and combine with egg, pepper, 2 tbspoon of parmesan cheese and little bit of salt.
Lightly grease a large, ovenproof dish with butter (I used a 20×20 cm. square dish). Place a layer of lasagna in the bottom and cover it with a layer of meat sauce. Spoon a layer of ricotta cheese mixture on top, arrange 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese slices and sprinkle with 1/3 of the parmesan cheese. Continue making layers until all the ingredients are used, ending with a topping of all the cheeses.
Dot the top of the lasagna with the diced butter and bake in a preheated oven, 200ºC/400ºF, for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
Cut into 4 pieces and serve hot.
- I didn’t use dry red wine in meat sauce, but you can add if you wish.
- You can also use Bachemal sauce instead of Ricotta cheese.