Lasagna




This is a recipe for lasagna how I've made it and ate it in Croatia for most of my life. With slight variations, this is how we make it, with grated cheese, Mozzarella, Gouda, whatever light cheese you have on hand basically, not Ricotta cheese. And Bolognese sauce made a little bit more tomatoey ans saucy than if you were just doing it for spaghetti or some other purpose. I am not a big fan of lasagna here because it is just so different, so couple of times a year I treat myself to this calorie bomb.




Everyone who tired it loves it, and if you want a little different version of what you usually make, do try this! I mean, it's pasta, Bolognese and cheese with yummy  Béchamel! Yum!
Oh, and I don't  precook my noodles. I make a lot of Béchamel and I make it a teeny bit thinner than I usually would, so it all bakes in into the noodles. Delicious! (and easy :D)

Also, I made this before my Croatia trip and before my birtday. When I didn't have my new pasta maker machine. So I used pre-made noodles. I am totally fine with that, but next lasagna I make I will try making my own from scratch!




Basically what you will need is noodles, Bolognese sauce, Béchamel sauce, and 16oz or more of grated cheese plus some Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top. I think I use a 16oz bag on the inside of the lasagna, and then one extra cup for the top + Parmesan. Yes. this is one of those dishes. You can certainly make it much more figure friendly by using lower fat cheese (which I often do) and using less of it (which I never do). :p


Bolognese Sauce:

1 1/2 to 2 lbs of ground beef
1 onion finely diced
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp tomato concentrate
1 small can of crushed tomatoes
1/8 tsp of cloves
1/8 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of all spice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of water

Heat up the oil in a saute pan and put onions in on medium heat. Saute until soft and translucent. Add the beef and when it gets browned add spices salt and pepper, mix it and then add the tomato concentrate and crushed tomatoes. Cook for ten minutes and add water, cook for 5 to 10 more minutes and set aside. 
It is important to make the sauce a little thinner, or saucier, (just like with Béchamel sauce) because it will help soak and cook the noodles.




Béchamel Sauce:

about 8 cups of milk (2% or whole is best, even though I often make it with 1% and it is still fine)
1/2 stick of butter
about 4 Tbsp of flour
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper (if you have white pepper, use that)

Melt the butter in a pot and add flour, mix it for a minute or two and then add heated milk (minus one cup), mix well with a whisk and add salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Cook until it thickens. (I try to make it a bit thinner than pancake batter so at this point if it thickened too much I add the rest of the milk)

Prepare grated cheese ( I use at least one 16oz bag of grated cheese, usually Italian mix or mozzarella)and start layering.
I start with little Béchamel on bottom, then dry noodles, Bolognese, grated Cheese and then Béchamel again.




I do 3 to 4 layers, depending on the size (depth) of my casserole dish and amount of people I am cooking for (or if I want lots of leftovers for freezing, it freezes great!)




Bake it on 350 for hour and a half. Make sure that top layer is completely covered with Béchamel  and top with as much cheese that you dare! :D 
Here I go ahead and use some extra Parmesan cheese for topping as well.

Before cutting into it, let sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes. 




This is such a delicious, filling and satisfying meal. I love freezing it because it's such a joy to remember "I have my lasagna in the freezer" on a day I don't feel like cooking...
You can eat it just like this, or pair it with some nice light salad. I would go for the greens here. And I am not sure I would recommend serving garlic bread or something with this because it is a heavy dish as it is...it just seems a bit too much. 
I really hope you try this. Perfect for entertaining too! Bon Appetit :)



5 comments:

  1. oh my! This looks delicious! we love lasagna!

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  2. Thank you, I hope you give it a try, it really is good!

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  3. I am so glad you did too :)
    And thank you for saying that about Croatia, I would agree and I miss it so so much. And the European Lasagna. I can't stand American lasagna :)))

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  4. Love it! What is that table mat that you used for the lasagna bowl? Is that wood? Saw it the first time. A great idea.

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  5. It is wood, I go it at a local home outlet store, I don't remember what they told me for what it was anymore (it wasn't table mats) but i figured it would be perfect :)

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