My Lasagna was a thing of beauty, no seriously i was proud of it
The Layers were well defined, and the sauce was just delicious, slow cooking is the key, its kind of like Nigerian Stew, the longer you let it boil/fry the sweeter it is. My friends were a little skeptical because it was my first time cooking it and as usual i combined almost 4 different recipes to form mine.
But when they started going back for second helpings, i looked on with a smug look on my face.
Here is my sure fire recipe to a delicious Beef lasagna.
12 sheets of lasagna pasta
250g of lean ground beef
1 28oz tin of crushed tomatoes
1 dry bayleaf
1 tbsp of tomato paste
2 cups of whole milk
2 tbsp of flour
2 tbsp of unsalted butter
1 celery stick ( diced finely)
1 peeled carrot(diced finely)
2 cups of white wine
1 small white onions ( diced finely)
2 cloves of garlic ( diced finely)
4 tbsp of Olive oil
1/4 cup of Olive oil
6 hand shredded Basil leaves
3 cups of Mozzarella cheese( shredded)
1 and a half pound of whole milk Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
Saute onions and garlic in 1/4 cup of Olive oil over medium heat, until translucent about 10minutes, add chopped celery, carrots and leave to get soft for about 4 minutes, add white wine, let alcohol boil and escape leaving the fragrant scent of the grapes, add tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaf, and leave to boil on low heat for about 1 hour.
While the sauce is boiling, put butter in a pot on medium heat and add flour, keep stirring without allowing to form clumps, and add milk while stirring, leave to simmer on medium heat as it thicken, make sure the sauce doesnt boil, when its thick, remove from heat and add salt, nutmeg and black pepper for taste.
Put water in another pot on high heat, add salt and 2 tbsp of Olive oil, put in Lasagna sheets and allow to boil for 5minutes, the oil will prevent the sheets from sticking together. remove from the stove, drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking, lay on a flat sheet and cover with a damp cloth to prevent drying out.
In a pan, put 2 tbsp of Olive oil on medium heat and saute the ground beef until it turns from red to brown, add seasoning and chilli pepper for that extra kick.
In a bowl, mix eggs and ricotta cheese, and whisk till its smooth.
After first sauce has boiled for about 1 hour, measure out 1 and a half cup of the tomato sauce and mix it with the second sauce ( milk sauce)
Pre-Heat oven to 375deg F
Grease a 9X11 pan casserole dish with butter and cover the base with 1/3 of the mixture of the tomato and milk sauce.
Lay 4 sheets of Lasagna on the sauce, overlaying them if you have to, and making sure the entire base is covered.
Cover with the Ricotta cheese mixture and layers of hand shredded basil leaves, cover that with another layer of 4 pasta sheets , on that layer the sauteed ground beef, cover that with another third of the tomato sauce mix and top with mozzarella cheese.
cover the last layer of 4 pasta sheets, Spread out remaining tomato sauce mixture evenly covering the pasta sheets top with Mozzarella and Parmesan.
Bake in oven for 40 minutes, you can put broiler on for the last 5 minutes to brown the top.
Allow to rest for 10minutes before serving