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Italian 5 layer lasagna with bechamel

Classic Italian Lasagna With Bechamel

Author: Lily
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
5 from 2 votes
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Servings 12
This classic Italian lasagna with béchamel is made with slow-simmered meat ragu, creamy béchamel, Parmigiano Reggiano, and lasagna noodles.

Ingredients
 

Beef Ragu Sauce

  • 2 lbs ground beef 90% lean
  • 52 ounces 1500 grams of passata** see note 1
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 2 carrots finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 garlic cloves crushed
  • 10 kalamata olives pit removed and diced
  • ½ cup red wine optional
  • salt

Bechamel Sauce

  • 60 grams butter about 4 tablespoons
  • 60 grams of all-purpose flour about 4 tablespoons
  • 4 cups of milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt

Other

  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano or parmesan
  • 1 lb box of oven-ready lasagna noodles or homemade lasagna noodles

Instructions

Meat Ragu Sauce

  • In a large pot on medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the finely diced onion, diced carrot, diced celery, and crushed garlic until it softens (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  • Add the ground beef, breaking up the clumps. Once the ground beef is brown, add the tomato sauce, diced olives, red wine (if using), and bay leaf.
  • Simmer the beef tomato sauce covered on low heat for two hours. Alternatively, simmer the ragu meat sauce in a slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Bechamel Sauce

  • In a nonstick pan on medium-high heat, add the butter. Once melted, add the flour and whisk continuously for about 30 seconds to a minute. Add the milk, continuing to mix until the sauce thickens to the point that it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Remove the bechamel cream sauce from the heat. Add the ground nutmeg and salt to taste. Set aside.

Make the Lasagna

  • Boil the lasagna noodles. If using regular box lasagna noodles, boil per the box instructions. If using homemade lasagna noodles or oven-ready lasagna noodles, boil them two to three sheets at a time for 1 minute (or until soft). Lay the lasagna noodles on a paper towel-lined cookie sheet. The noodles need to be soft and partially cooked- this step is important!
  • To layer the lasagna: add some beef tomato sauce to the bottom of the 9"x13" baking dish. Add one layer of lasagna noodles. Follow that with another layer of beef tomato sauce, then the bechamel sauce, then some lightly grated parmesan cheese. Repeat this until you have 5 layers of lasagna noodles. The top of the lasagna will be bechamel and then grated parmesan.
  • Bake the lasagna in a 350 ℉ (176 ℃) oven for about 40 minutes.

Notes

  1. Passata is strained blended tomatoes. Substitute tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. Also, you can buy the canned whole peeled tomatoes and blitz them in the blender. For this lasagna recipe, I used two large cans of passata (each can was 26 ounces or 750 grams).

Nutrition

Serving: 1/12 | Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 368mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g