By Ana Maria Da Costa Vasconcellos
besciamella sauce. Lasagna is only another shape of pasta and so, it also matches with an infinity of seasonings.
The main lasagna recipes are those with tomato and
Among all lasagna recipes, the number one should be the most traditional one. Before preparing it, it’s necessary to have already a tomato meat sauce and a besciamella ready to use.
A good tomato meat sauce needs good ingredients, as they contribute strongly for the best final result.
You’ll need (4 people)
• 4 spoons of extra virgin olive oil
• 200 gr of ground veal meat (instead of ground, it can be minced too)
• 2 cans of peeled tomatoes
• ˝ minced onion
• 2 pieces of minced garlic
• minced parsley
• some basil leaves (if you don’t have them, don’t worry)
How to do it
Put the oil inside a pan (it's better to use a "high" pan, to avoid squirts), turn on the gas and add the minced onion. Leave it for a while, mixing it to avoid overcooking, and then add the minced garlic and the minced meat.
After coloring it for a while, add the peeled tomatoes cut in medium pieces. Mix it all and leave it on high gas for a while. As it begins to boil, regulate the gas to avoid overcooking it, but leave it a little bit high. Otherwise you'll get a "too liquid" sauce, and a good one should be dense. Mix it every now and then.
When your Italian tomato sauce is ready? When the oil is separated from the tomatoes. It'll take about half an hour for this quantity, but pay attention when you mix it that you'll notice that you can see the oil apart from the tomato cream.
It’s much simpler than the name suggests. Just take ˝ liter of milk, add 3 spoons of wheat flour and half spoon of butter. Mix it while on the low gas until it’ gets creamy. Add then salt and nutmeg.
Other than the tomato sauce and the besciamella, you’ll need Italian mozzarella and grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano. Don’t use any cheese, as a good cheese really makes the difference.
The lasagna packages say that it doesn’t need to boil before going to the oven. But the old Italian women are distrustful and prefer to do it their way. What do they do? They put the lasagna sheets for about a minute into the boiling salted water and then put them on a dishtowel, without laying one upon another.
(If you choose not to boil them, they will come less softy and the sauce will not mix so much.)
Take an oven pan and begin with a layer of tomato sauce, then lasagna sheets (not overlapping them), besciamella, tomato sauce again, pieces of mozzarella and grated Grana Padano.
Go ahead until the ingredients finish, taking care of finishing with the tomato sauce with cheese.
Put it into the pre-heated oven (about 180°C) for about 30/40 minutes, when it began to get crispy on the boards.
Tip: After taking it out of the oven, wait for about 20 minutes before serving. It will allow the pasta to absorb the sauces and will be easier to cut and the taste will gain.
Other lasagna recipes
An easy and original idea is to use pesto between lasagna sheets, adding grated Parmigiano Reggiano and less besciamella.
Another vegetarian recipe is using tomato sauce without meat. Do the sauce in the same way without adding meat and proceed for the lasagna the same exact way.
An original veggie recipe is using grilled eggplant between tomato sauce and besciamella.
About the Author: For more information on Lasagna recipes visit All About Italian Food. Ana Maria da Costa, economist and enogastronomic expert, lives in Italy since 1983 and shows Italian food culture from the inside, with tips and useful info in her website.