Hi, everyone! How's the weekend so far? Hope you all are having some nice time with family and friends.
Last 1st of June, Captain celebrated his 44th birthday and when I asked him what was it that he wish for his birthday, he just said "One of those awesome lasagnas of yours!" Aww.. wasn't he sweet? Well, I don't normally like to blow my own trumpet but lasagna is one thing I can cook well! Well, they might not look super elegant but they surely taste good :)
If you asked me what is the secret to a good lasagna, I would say it is the 'ragu' or the meat sauce filling. If you are interested you can get my version of recipe here. Another secret is in the bechamel sauce or cheese sauce used to ensure the moist texture and creamy taste of the lasagna. Of course being generous with your ingredients helps too.
In this post I will lead you step by step in preparing this lasagna beginning with the bechamel sauce!
80 grams of butter
1 1/2 tablespoon of flour
3 cups of milk
1 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese
1/3 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1 piece of bay leaf
Salt, pepper to taste
In a sauce pan melt the butter
Add the flour and stir for 1 -2 minutes until the flour is fully incorporated
Take the pan off the heat and gradually add in the milk, stirring constantly until smooth
Return the pan to the heat add the bay leaf and cook over medium heat
until boiling and thicken.
Be sure to stir frequently.
Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for a while.
Finally add in the cheeses, salt, pepper and cook until smooth.
Once you have your ragu and bechamel sauce ready, you are set to start the layering process. Here I use the fresh lasagna sheets I bought when I was in Venice recently. Fresh sheets make softer lasagna but you can always use the instant or semi instant sheets that you can get from the local supermarket. Lets start, shall we?!
You will need :
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Shredded parmesan cheese
1) Line a well greased lasagna dish with a few sheets of lasagna
2) Cover the sheets with a layer of ragu.
3) Spread some bechamel sauce on top of the ragu
4) Sprinkle generous portion of shredded mozzarella cheese
5) Cover with another layer of lasagna sheet. Repeat the process twice more.
6) After the last layer of lasagna sheet been placed, spread some bechamel sauce on top
7) Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminium foil and
make some tiny holes using the fork
8) Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
My children and Captain love the top part a bit brown with the parmesan and mozzarella cheese crusty. To achive this I use the top griller in the oven only for the final 3 minutes of cooking. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving and Buon appetito! Enjoy!