Today, I am posting this recipe of classic lasagna, everyone’s favorite. It’s a great comfort food and can be prepared to please a small crowd or for potluck parties.
Thanks to my lovely cousin who gave me this idea of making a lasagna. She loves it and I hope to see her try this recipe.
Preparation time: 25 minutes (includes layering)
Cooking time: 70 minutes
Requirement: Baking dish 9*28-cm / 4*11-inch
Lasagna sheets – 6 or more
Beef mince / ground – 500 g
Butter for beef + 75 g bechamel sauce + coating the baking dish
Onion – 1 large, thinly diced
Garlic cloves – 2, finely chopped
Celery leaves / stick – 1/2 cup / 1 stick, finely chopped
Shredded carrot – 90 g
Nutmeg – 1/4 tsp (grated)
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Tomato puree / sauce – 470 g / 6 small
Mozzarella / Parmesan Cheese – 50 g or more
Bell peppers – 1
Cherry tomatoes – 10 to 15, cut into halves
Bechamel sauce / White sauce: Balloon whisk is required
All-purpose flour – 4 tbsp
Hot Milk – 2 cups
Salt to taste
1. Preparing the beef:
Melt a small slice of butter in a large wok or pan at medium high heat, add onion and fry till translucent, then add garlic. Fry for a minute. Add carrot and celery. Mix and fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the beef breaking it up and brown until just changing color, but not hardening.
Add pepper powder, salt, nutmeg powder and tomato puree/paste, mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until all the water oozes out. Uncover and cook till all the water is gone.
2. To toast the bell peppers: Heat a pan on high and place the skin side facing down. Toast them until brown. It can also be baked whole in the oven for few mins until its brown.
Cut into pieces of desired size and reserve with cherry tomatoes.
3. To prepare the Bechamel Sauce:
Melt 75 g butter in heavy-bottomed saucepan. When foaming stir in the flour and cook over gentle heat for about 2-5 minutes without letting it brown. Take it off the heat and add all the milk at once, whisking very well.
When all the flour and butter have been combined with no lumps, return to the heat and slowly bring to a boil whisking all the time. When it comes to the boil add salt and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes.
Spoon the white sauce into the buttered baking dish. Cover with lasagne sheets and spread the beef mince.
Add another layer of bechamel sauce, top it with bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. Continue with the beef mince. Repeat twice more, finishing with a layer of white sauce covering the whole top.
Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake on convection mode in a preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius for 20 – 30 minutes.
5. After 30 mins if the top layer has not browned, increased the temperature to 200 degree Celsius (Gas 4) for 5 more minutes or until brown and bubbling.
6. Let stand for 5 – 10 minutes to settle and firm up before serving.
My thoughts on this recipe 👉👉 I would recommend making the first step of this recipe a day in advance and freezing it to reduce time.
* If you plan on making a day in advance, cover it with a foil and store it in the fridge. It might take longer to bake since it’s cold.
*Making few days in advance: Assemble it and bake it. Store it in the freezer unless you would want to use it within 2 days. Re-heating tastes better and might need more time to heat. So make sure you pop it in the oven without defrosting otherwise it might turn watery.
*Cover with a foil while re-heating and that’s when it comes handy when you don’t want your frozen lasagna to be browning on top and cold inside.
Hope you will love making this recipe. Please share your thoughts on comments below 👇 Untill my next post.. Bye! 👋 ☺