A massive tray of Lasagna always looks so festive with its sweetness and sharpness imbibed from the delicate blend of duo delicious sauces interleaved between pasta sheets.
How to Make Lasagna
The secret to making lip-smacking lasagna lies in perfecting the art of preparing the two sauces, Bolognese and Bechamel Sauce that are spread over manifold layers of the lasagna sheets which have been meticulously assembled.
We have used wavy lasagna sheets is this recipe as they are wide and contain ridges which facilitate holding more amounts of those delicious sauces within.
Ingredients for Bolognese Sauce
Ground pork (1/4th of a kilogram)
Ground beef (1/4th of a kilogram)
Tomatoes, chopped (1/2 a kilogram)
Tomatoes, puréed (1/4th of a kilogram)
Garlic pods, finely chopped (4)
Carrot, finely chopped (1 large)
Stalk of celery, finely chopped (3)
Thin strips of bacon (7)
Pink or white onion, finely chopped (2)
Extra-virgin olive oil (one tablespoon)
Dry red/white wine (half cup)
Salt and freshly cracked black peppercorns, as per taste
Oregano (a teaspoon)
Procedure for Bolognese Sauce
We begin by preheating the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade. Place a medium-sized round metallic pan on high flame and once heated through then pour in the extra-virgin olive oil followed by the chopped bacon and mix them properly using a wooden spoon. Once rendering (or melting of bacon fat) has occurred then add the ground beef in small batches whilst stirring constantly to separate out the meat and brown it up.
This ensures that the pan temperature doesn’t drop and even cooking of the meat occurs. Repeat this till the entire contents of the ground beef has been emptied in the pan and continue cooking it for a couple of minutes. At this stage the ground pork can also be stirred into the vessel and allowed to cook for some minutes. Once the meat has cooked through then add the chopped garlic, carrot, celery stalks and onions and coalesce well.
Allow cooking for around 3-4 minutes whilst stirring intermittently. Now, mix in the puréed tomato to the vessel. Wait for a couple of minutes prior to pouring in the dry wine and continue cooking till evaporation of the alcohol has occurred.
The chopped tomatoes are then emptied into the pan and cooked for about four to five minutes prior to taking off the heat. Garnish with dried oregano and freshly cracked peppercorns and salt as per taste. Your Bolognese sauce is ready to be used for the lasagna preparation.
Ingredients for the Bechamel Sauce
Whole milk (350 milliliters)
Butter (3 tablespoons)
White, all purpose flour (trio tablespoons)
Ground nutmeg (a dash)
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked black peppercorns (1/8 teaspoon)
Procedure for Bechamel Sauce
The first step for the Bechamel sauce preparation is warming the milk in a round medium metallic pan, though avoid boiling it. In another similar pan, melt the butter and use a wire whisker for thoroughly combining the all purpose flour along with the butter till one gets a creamy consistency without any visible lumps.
Just prior to the mixture turning brownish begin adding the warmed milk in a slow steady stream and keep whisking continually till the sauce starts thickening. Now add freshly cracked black peppercorns, salt to taste and a smidgen of nutmeg and whip well prior to taking off the stove. Your Bechamel sauce is ready to be used in the lasagna dish preparation.
Ingredients for the Lasagna
Wavy sheets of Lasagna, pre-cooked (two hundred grams)
Parmesan cheese, shredded (60 grams)
Prepared Bolognese sauce
Prepared Bechamel sauce
Procedure for Lasagna Preparation
Commence by preheating the oven to two hundred degrees Centigrade. Completely immerse the dry sheets of pasta that have been placed inside a round vessel filled with tepid water. Allow soaking for about five to ten minutes and then take the sheets out singly and rest them on kitchen towels for mopping up excess moisture and repeat on the other side as well.
Once the entire batch of lasagna sheets have been dried then we begin assembling the lasagna by placing some sheets for totally casing the base of a baking pan that has been coated with some olive oil. Next, ladle out half the amount of prepared Bolognese sauce and evenly level it over the sheets.
Gently pour some spoonfuls of the Bechamel sauce to totally cover the red sauce. Lastly, add a generous sprinkling of grated cheese to top this layer. The process must be repeated by emptying the remnant contents of Bolognese sauce followed by the Bechamel sauce and the final topping of cheese.
Place the baking pan in the centre of a preheated oven and allow cooking for around twenty minutes. Once you notice that the cheese has begun bubbling and browned slightly then take it off the oven and set aside for around fifteen minutes to cool down. Your delicious lasagna is ready to be served alone or accompanied by some freshly tossed veggie salad. Enjoy.
Photo Credit: Wolfgangpuck.com/recipes/view/3518/Wolfgang-s-Hearty-Beef-Bolognese-Sauce