Pasta is my ultimate comfort dish. And now that we are at the end of the cold winter evenings (I hope!), the nights are double the cold temperature so a nice hearty dish seems necessary.
When it comes to ultimate pasta dishes, lasagna comes to mind almost immediately. Of course, I have simple spaghetti recipes that I can go to and cook for half an hour but everybody will agree with me that a tasty lasagna is one of the best pasta dishes in the world, right?
Since I felt like it’s been a while since we had lasagna at home, I cooked it last weekend. It was a hit! My husband and son loved it and if not only for the HUGE fridge space it will take up – I will more likely cook it more often, too.
So in case you want to learn how to make a really simple lasagna or just craving for it, here is the recipe I used. I am not sure how authentic it is, though. Especially the bechamel sauce. But I can guarantee that it tastes good!
2 cups fresh milk (I used full fat for this)
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
50 g butter
1 tbsp plain flour
lasagna sheets (I used the dry lasagna sheets for this)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 kg beef mince
2 sprigs thyme
1/4 tsp rosemary
1 bay leaf
2 medium carrots, chopped
250g mushrooms, chopped
250 g ricotta
1 leek, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 big bottle (about 400ml) of tomato passata
salt and pepper to taste
400g grated mozzarella cheese
1. In a small saucepan, place all the ingredients for the Bechamel sauce.
2. Place over medium-high heat and stir consistently.
3. Wait for the sauce to get warm and reduce the heat to medium to avoid burning. Continue to stir.
4. Once the bechamel sauce starts to thicken (or starts to reach boiling point), remove from heat and set aside.
5. Get another pan and pour the olive oil in.
6. Saute the garlic until golden brown. Add the chopped leeks and mix.
7. Add the minced meat and cook thoroughly. Make sure to keep mixing to avoid cooking in clumps.
8. Add the bay leaf, rosemary, and thyme sprig. Mix well.
9. When the meat is thoroughly cooked, add the carrots and mushrooms.
10. Stir in the tomato passata shortly after and season with salt and pepper.
11. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
12. Preheat the oven to 175C.
13. Get a pyrex and place lasagna sheets. Put enough lasagna filling on it. Scatter spoonfuls of ricotta cheese and spread around the area of the tray. Add another layer of lasagna sheets on top.
14. Put another layer of lasagna filling and this time, put a layer of the bechamel sauce. Add another layer of lasagna sheets on top.
15. Add another layer of lasagna filling (if you can). Use the remaining bechamel, ricotta and spread evenly with grated mozzarella cheese.
16. Cover the lid with aluminum foil and bake for about 40-45 minutes.
17. After baking for 40-45 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes (to toast the upper part).
18. Serve and enjoy!