2020 UPDATE: I’m adding newer pictures of a recent one that we made. This dish is so convenient because there is no need to boil lasagna pasta or use instant lasagna! I love recipes that are simpler than the original and avoid single-use things like aluminim foil! Hope you enjoy this recipe!
Hi guys! I can’t believe it’s the holiday season again! I’ve been so utterly busy with making pretty accessories for my DiploShop, cooking, baking and going on my usual shopping rounds to take advantage of the end of season sales to get what I need and having my perpetual online garage sale. (I am a struggling minimalist – but obviously losing that battle so far hehe!)
Anyway I just wanna share with you that I finally made lasagna for the first time! And IMHO it was pretty yummy for a first try! It helps to have a good authentic recipe to begin with, even if I kinda winged it on the Bolognese sauce. Read on.
It all started when I saw a box of lasagna in the supermarket. I said “I really should learn how to make lasagna!” This was a couple of months ago. Then last weekend I saw this Anchor Baking Dish on sale at Ace Hardware Pasaraya. It is usually 399.000 but for the Anniversary weekend it was on promo for 299.000. It’s my first time to see something like this in Jakarta. Not a bad deal for Jakarta yeah?
You can also get this on Amazon here.
- Oven/Microwave/Refrigerator safe baking dish
- It has a Cover for the baking dish so it’s perfect for storing – no need to cling wrap!
- It also has this awesome insulated bag – that keeps the dish hot (not just warm), makes it easy to bring to aparty without being scared of touching the hot dish!
- There is also a Temp Assure insulation pack which can keep your dish hot or cold.
Then yesterday, while I was having my morning coffee I saw David Rocco’s Dolce Vita on TV and guess what he was making?!? Lazy (wo)Man’s Lasagna! No need to boil the lasagna pasta sheets? I’m in!
TD told me he was coming home for lunch and to be honest I thought the recipe was gonna be quicker and I didn’t have complete ingredients! So I had to do some shortcuts on the Bolognese recipe (I had only 50 mins to do it and the full recipe called for 1 hour of simmering the bolognese sauce alone). I didn’t bother doing the salsa di minuti either. I basically combined David Rocco’s recipe with the Bolognese recipe that I learned from the Italian Chef at Cooking Class in The Ritz’ Lobo.
This is my adaptation and combination of both. If I were you, I would still taste it along the way to be sure it comes out the way you like your lasagna.
- 50 grams carrots finely chopped
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- dried chili pepper flakes to taste
- 2 tbsp of Extra Virgin olive oil
- 500g high quality lean ground beef
- 4 basil leaves
- 1 can of pelati 400g
- Sieved tomato puree about the same amount as pelati
- 2-4 tbsp tomato paste (depends on how sour you like it)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat oil in the pan (medium)
- Throw in the carrots, onions, chili pepper and garlic and sautee for a few seconds
- Throw in the beef and sautee until golden brown
- Add salt and pepper
- I should have really added some wine and let reduced at step 4 but this has to be for next time.
- Add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and paste + basil leaves + more salt and pepper to taste
- Simmer until it’s the desired consistency I wanted it to be a tiny bit watery than thick because I needed the sauce to cook the pasta and I know that a lot of it will be absorbed
- Remove the basil leaves
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 4 1/2 cups milk
- In a saucepan, heat up the milk, and bring to a gentle simmer.
- In another saucepan, melt the butter and immediately add the flour. Lower the heat, and mix until the butter has absorbed all the flour and is the consistency of thick dough. Make sure the butter-flour mixture does not burn or brown.
- Remove the butter-flour saucepan from the heat, and whisk in a couple of ladles of heated milk into the butter-flour mixture.
- Whisk until the flour has absorbed all of the milk.
- Put the saucepan back on the burner over medium heat, and whisk in the remainder of the milk.
- Continue whisking until the sauce thickens and becomes a creamy velvety consistency.
- 1 pound dry lasagna pasta sheets
- 6 cups Bolognese sauce, recipe follows
- 3 cups Bechamel sauce, recipe follows
- 1 pound freshly grated mozzarella
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cover the bottom of a deep baking dish with a layer of Bolognese sauce.
- Lay out the uncooked pasta sheets over the sauce until they cover the baking dish entirely.
- Cover the pasta with another generous layer of Bolognese sauce.
- The liquid from the sauce will cook the dried pasta so be sure to add enough sauce.
- Drizzle the bechamel sauce and sprinkle the mozzarella (or Grana Padano or Parmiggiano Reggiano) on top, until both are distributed evenly.
- Add another layer of dried pasta, laying the sheets in the opposite direction.
- Repeat the process of adding sauces, mozzarella, and pasta for another 2 to 3 layers or until two-thirds of the baking dish’s depth is filled.
- Top off the last layer of sauces and Quickmelt Cheese with a generous sprinkle of the Grana Padano cheese or whatever parmesan cheese you have.
- Place the pan in oven for approximately 40 minutes and let rest for 20 minutes before serving.
- I prefer using Grana Padano Parmesan Cheese instead of Parmigiano Reggiano. According to Lobo’s chef it is the best parmesan cheese because it’s aged longer than Parmigiano Reggiano. You can use whatever parmesan cheese you have.
- The original recipe calls for mozzarella instead of Quickmelt. But you can use whatever you have! Why not?
I’m just so happy that it turned out pretty good because I ended up having to bring it to TD’s office instead and having everyone try it out. They were quite impressed and I hope they weren’t just being nice. Personally I really liked how it turned out and TD said the only thing missing was the garlic bread – LOL!
If I had time and complete ingredients I might wanna try the entire recipe next time! Btw I have to say that the bechamel sauce was fantastic and so easy to do!
The beauty with lasagna is it’s great for parties but it’s also great for keeping. It tastes even better after a day or 3 in the refrigerator.