Nothing beats classic lasagna!
And this is the easiest recipe you will ever make. It’s FOOL PROOF , anyone can make it even if you have never cooked before. Follow the recipe exactly and you will be super happy with the result. Also, it can be made ahead of time and it’s freezer-friendly!
This recipes does take some time to make and a little bit more effort – but I promise you, it’s worth it. I even double the recipe some times and put one lasagna in the freezer.
The lasagna has layers of classic meat sauce, bechamel and cheese. A.K.A. layers of goodness!
This one of those dishes that tastes even better the very next day! So if you have leftovers, lucky you!
Cooking time: approx. 1 hour
• 9 fresh lasagna noodles
• 1 pound ground beef
• 4 oz. finely chopped bacon
• 1 onion peeled and diced small
• 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
• Salt and Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 1/2 Cup Pasatta (tomato sauce)
• 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
• 1 tbsp. bouillon powder
• 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
• 1 C. red wine or water
• 1/2 Cup Butter
• 1/2 Cup Flour
• 1 tsp. salt
• 4 Cups milk
• a grating of nutmeg, about 1/8 tsp.
• 1 bay leaf
• 3 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
DIRECTIONS MEAT SAUCE:
• Preheat oven to 350° F / 180° C . Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
• Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and fry until it starts releasing a bit of fat, add the ground beef and onion and cook until beef has browned, add the garlic. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; season with pepper, to taste. Drain off excess fat. Put back on the heat. Stir in the pasatta, bouillon powder and Italian seasoning until well combined. Add the wine or water and let simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
• Remove from heat.
1. Heat a large pot with a thick bottom, add the butter and melt.
2. Add the flour and stir with a whisk until well combined.
3. Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly, until very well combined and there are no lumps at all.
4. Add the bay leaf and nutmeg.
5. Simmer for about ten minutes until flour is fully “cooked”
6. Remove from heat.
1. Spread 1 cup tomato mixture onto the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish; top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the bechamel sauce and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat . Top with remaining noodles, tomato mixture, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan.
2. Place into oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until bubbling.
3. Let cool 15 minutes. This is an important step! *
4. Serve, garnished with parsley, if desired.
*Letting the Lasagna rest for 15 minutes will ensure that you can cut beautiful squares or portions.
*MAKE-AHEAD: Cover lasagna tightly with foil. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until completely cooked through and golden on top.
*TO FREEZE UNCOOKED: Cover lasagna tightly with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. To bake, remove plastic wrap, cover with foil and bake for 90 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until completely cooked through.
*COOKED from frozen: sometimes I will make this recipe and divide it into four portions and pack them into foil baking dishes. Then freeze, when I’m in a hurry I will only have to defrost and place on a plate and microwave, and believe me….still really delicious.