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An old childhood favorite becomes a family staple

5 months ago

lasagna al forno

With its alternate levels of hearty red sauce, béchamel layer, generous ground meat, and melt-in-your-mouth cheese on top, a plate of lasagna is pretty much irresistible to anyone who loves pasta. People might get the impression that this classic is hard to do, but you have to do is prepare each component, assemble, and bake!  

 

LASAGNA AL FORNO

Makes 4-5 servings

 

MEAT SAUCE

1 box Lasagna pasta sheets (instant or regular)

¼ cup Olive oil

1 head Garlic, minced

2 Onions, chopped

½ kilo Ground beef

1 tsp Dried oregano

1 tsp Dried basil

1 small can or pouch Tomato paste

2 cups Water

2 Tbsps Sugar

¾ Tbsp Salt

½ tsp Ground black pepper

 

BÉCHAMEL SAUCE

½ cup Butter

½ cup Flour

1 ½ cups Water

1 Beef bouillon cube

1 can Evaporated milk

⅛ tsp Nutmeg

 

CHEESE TOPPING

2-3 cups Mozzarella cheese

1 small tub Ricotta or cottage cheese

  • Grated Parmesan cheese

 

  1. If using regular lasagna sheets, cook pasta according to package directions. When cooked, lay pasta sheets side by side on a clean kitchen towel or tray to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, make meat sauce. In a medium saucepot, heat olive oil. Sauté garlic and then onions. Cook until soft and fragrant then add ground beef. Continue to stir until beef has turned brown. If the ground beef has some fat, you may want to pour out the excess oil at this point.
  3. Next, add basil and oregano. Mix in tomato paste and stir until sauce is orange and bubbly. Pour in two cups of water and let boil. Season with sugar, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low fire for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the béchamel cream sauce: In a small saucepot, melt butter. Stir in flour. Slowly add the water and beef cube, stirring constantly with a whisk until smooth. Add the evaporated milk and continue to stir to make a smooth cream sauce. Season with nutmeg and turn off heat.

 

TO ASSEMBLE
1. Prepare an oven-proof serving dish. Spread a thin layer of tomato meat sauce at the bottom. Next add pasta, then spread béchamel cream sauce on top. Sprinkle white sauce with mozzarella cheese. Continue building the pasta using the same order, but leave about 1 cup of béchamel and 1/2 cup of meat sauce. Combine these two sauces to make the top layer. Spread this last layer on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and ricotta or cottage cheese.

2. Bake in a preheated oven 375°F oven for 30 minutes until top layer becomes red golden and bubbly. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing

 

Recipe by Atty. Gaby Concepcion

Photographed by Mike Cuevas of Studio 100

 

There’s nothing wrong with revisiting your childhood faves!

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