Archive for December, 2011
My husband and I both agreed that this was the best lasagna we have ever had. I have always enjoyed the standard lasagna recipe with bottled sauce, cottage/ricotta cheese, etc. but this recipe takes lasagna to a whole new level. In place of the bottled sauce and cottage/ricotta cheese, you make a wonderful homemade red sauce and white bechamel sauce. The two sauces compliment each other perfectly. Once you make this recipe there’s no looking back. It’s truly incredible. So incredible that we had this for dinner on a Monday and the finished the leftovers the very next day, and let me tell you that rarely happens in this household.
This was probably the most time-consuming dinner I’ve made in a very long time but it was well worth the effort. This lasagna does dirty a lot of pots and pans so do yourself a favor and use no-boil noodles, it will give you one less pot to clean.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
6 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1/2 large onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups milk (not skim, I used 2%)
5 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
9 lasagna noodles, boiled for half the time or 12 no-boil noodles
1 pound ground hamburger
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded
Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or with a napkin dipped lightly in olive oil. Set pan aside.
In a large skillet, brown the ground hamburger over medium-high heat. When cooked through, drain and set aside.
In a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and one tablespoon butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. When oil/butter is hot, add the garlic, stirring constantly. When the garlic is lightly browned, add the onion and mushrooms. Continue cooking on medium-high heat until the vegetables are soft and browned and the fluid has mostly cooked out. Remove from heat and either using a handheld immersion blender or transferring the vegetables to a blender, blend the vegetables to a paste-like mixture. Return the pot to the heat (pour the pureed vegetables back in, if using a stand-alone blender) and add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Then add the diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir. Cover and let the sauce sauce simmer for 30 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Right before using the red sauce in the lasagna, stir in the reserved ground turkey.
While the red sauce simmers, if using lasagna noodles that need to be boiled, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil the noodles for half the time suggested on the box. Once the noodles are cooked, drain, but do not rinse. Add a dab of olive oil to keep them from sticking together. Skip this step if you are using no-boil noodles.
Also while the red sauce is cooking, melt the four tablespoons butter. When the butter has melted add the flour, stirring constantly to combine and letting the mixture cook, while stirring, for a minute or two. Gradually add in the milk, whisking constantly. Add the salt and pepper. Slowly whisk the white sauce, ensuring it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan, while cooking it over medium heat. Continue slowly stirring or whisking while the white sauce cooks and thickens quite a bit, about 5-7 minutes (it may take a little longer but it will thicken).
Preheat the oven to 350° F. To begin layering the lasagna, keep in mind that you’ll have three layers of noodles as well as three layers of the sauces and cheese – so plan on splitting all the sauce and cheese piles into thirds so you don’t run out at the end. On the bottom of your lightly greased baking pan, layer three pre-boiled noodles/four no-boil noodles, slightly overlapping the no-boil noodles. Layer the red sauce, white sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, spreading all to the edges and top with another layer of noodles. Again, layer the red sauce, white sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and top with the final layer of noodles. Layer the sauces and cheeses again.
Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven for 10 minutes more. Allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Source: Mel’s Kitchen