Feb 13, 2017
Lasagna is one of our family's favorite foods. This recipe is inspired by Chef Mario Batali (his original recipe here) and modified by me to be more "baby friendly".
- 1 pack lasagna noodles - I use 9 noodles for a lasagna, they fit perfectly on 3 layers in the ceramic dish I use and I like to put a lot of ragu between the layers.
- 200g grated Parmesan cheese + extra, to sprinkle on top when serving.
For the ragu bolognese:
- 1 kg minced meat (I like to use beef and turkey, but any combination should work);
- 3-4 Tbsp oil;
- 400g champignon mushrooms, sliced;
- one big onion, finely chopped;
- 1 clove garlic;
- 400g tomato paste or diced tomatoes;
- 1 cup of milk;
- 1 cup beef or vegetable soup or 1 cup water;
* if you don't have restrictions to sodium, season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the bechamel:
- 5 Tbsp butter;
- 4 Tbsp flour;
- 3 cups milk;
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg;
* if no restrictions, add 2 tsp salt.
Start with the ragu bolognese: place the mushrooms and the onion in a non-sticky pan, over medium fire and cover with a lid. Add a splash of water (50 ml). Cover with a lid and wait until the water starts to seep out of the mushrooms. Add 3-4 Tbsp of oil and the crushed garlic and let everything simmer without the lid until the mushrooms soften a bit and most of the water evaporates. Rise the temperature and add the minced meat, stirring continuously to prevent it from sticking together, until all the meat changes color to golden brown. Reduce the heat again, add the tomato paste, milk and soup / water and let everything simmer over medium-low heat for about 1h and 30'. Finally, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
About 15 minutes before the ragu is ready, turn on the oven on 200 degrees Celsius and start preparing the bechamel.
Melt the butter in a non-sticky saucepan. Meanwhile, heat the milk until it reaches the boiling point and remove from fire. When the butter has melted, add the flour on top and stir vigorously. Add the milk one cup at a time and let the sauce boil, stirring continuously, until you feel it starts to thicken. From that point, boil it about 30 more seconds and remove from fire.
Now you can start layering the lasagna: in a ceramic rectangular pot, alternate a layer of ragu, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan, a layer of noodles and a layer of bechamel. Continue with the same order until you finish the sauces. At the end you need to have ragu on the bottom of the pot and bechamel as the top layer. Sprinkle some more Parmesan before putting the pot in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius, until the crust becomes golden brown.