The Italian food culture is one of the most appreciated food cultures of the world and every household cooks Italian once in a while. However, because everyone loves a good Italian meal, plenty of recipes can be found in cookbooks and on the internet. And not all of the recipes are that good.. I absolutely adore the lasagna, but I have tried several recipes to find the perfect one. For instance, in the Netherlands a lot of students use the standard meal package from Knorr for lasagna. However, it tastes nothing like what the perfect lasagna should be! The bechamel is a mess and the tomatoes in the sauce are hard to find..
Several years ago, my parents got the best Italian cookbook and we have been making perfect italian dishes from it ever since. Unfortunately it is hard to find, because it is not published anymore, but if you are lucky you can find it on eBay, marktplaats or bol.com! For those of you who are not lucky to possess this pearl, I will present the perfect lasagna recipe! Yes, it takes a lot of work.., but hell yes it is good! If you prepare everything from scratch, even the bechamel sauce, you can be proud at yourself and serve a wonderful meal to your lover or friends!
For 4 people with good appetite
Bolognese sauce: (you can also use this bolognese sauce to serve with just spaghetti!) 1 carrot, 1 celery, 50 g. pancetta or smoked bacon, 1 onion, 2 toes of garlic, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 300 g. chopped beef, 1 can of pealed tomatoes (400 g.), 300 ml. of red wine mixed with 1 block of meat stock, salt and pepper. Bechamel sauce: 50 g. of butter, 50 g. of flower, 750 ml. milk, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Pasta layers: about 250 g. of lasagna layers (if you use fresh pasta, make sure you cook it for 4 or 5 minutes before you use it in the lasagna), salt, 200-250 g. of Mozzarella, 100 g. of fresh Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of butter.
For the Bolognese sauce, wash the carrot and the celery and chop them in small parts. Chop also the onion, garlic and pancetta. Heat up the pan (save the lid for later) with butter and oil and stir the chopped ingredients together. Crumble the chopped beef until it’s done. Add the can of pealed tomatoes and squeeze them in the pan. Also add the whine with the block of meat stock. Season it with salt and pepper and leave it with the lid on the heat for 1 hour. Then the Bechamel sauce. I know it is hard, but you can do it! Just keep breathing and stirring. Put the butter in a small pan and let it melt, but done let it get brown! Use a wooden spoon and stir bits of flower through the butter until the mix looks smooth. Add small bits of milk and stir with a whisk to prevent the sauce to clot. Leave the sauce for 10 minutes on a low fire and season it with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Finally cut the Mozzarella into small pieces and preheat the oven at 200 degrees.
Take a plate for the oven and put some Bechamel sauce in it. Then add lasagna layers, Bolognese sauce, Bechamel sauce, Mozzarella and so on. At last put some Bechamel sauce on the dish and finalize it with fresh Parmezan cheese. Put the dish in the oven for 40 minutes. If you are with 6 people, you can make a nice green salad on the side. I hope you enjoy this lasagna as much as I do! (Thanks to Anne for the recipe tip!)
Authors: Cornelia Schinharl & Sebastian Dickhaut. Publisher: The House of Books. ISBN: 90-443-0096-2.