This recipe from Cooking with Kevin, uses bechamel sauce, beef bolognese and sausage for added authenticity but you can make it with just Ricotta, Parmesan and Ragù as well. Lasagna is traditionally made during the Holidays or for special celebrations, but why not treat yourself to this anytime you want.
Homemade Lasagna by Kevin O'Leary
Makes 12 servings
For the lasagna:
12-14 regular lasagna pasta
1 lb mozzarella cheese shredded, (preferably Polly-O)
8 oz parmesan cheese, freshly grated
For the tomato sauce:
3 tablespoon olive oil
6 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoon tomato paste (See Note 1)
½ cup dry red wine (optional)
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
28 oz crushed San Marzano tomatoes (See Note 2)
12 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
For the bechamel sauce:
¼ cup butter, (softened)
¼ cup flour
Pinch of kosher salt
Dash of pepper
3 cups milk
For the bolognese sauce:
1 lb ground beef
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 large white onion, finely chopped
Making the Tomato Sauce:
In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium-high flame and add the minced garlic, sauté for 2 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the wine (optional), tomato paste, sugar, dried oregano and salt and red pepper flakes, sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, stir and simmer until reduced slightly, about 20 minutes. In last 10 minutes of simmering, add the basil and stir. Season the sauce with more salt to taste.
At this point you could leave it chunky or for a smooth sauce you could use a hand blender and puree or put in a blender and blend until smooth.
Making the Ragù sauce:
In a saucepan, add the olive oil and saute the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the carrots and celery and cook until soft, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the ground meat and heat on high. Cooking and breaking up the meat until it is browned. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil, and then lower heat to medium/low, and continue to stir occasionally. Let cook for about 1 hour.
Once the sauce is almost done, add in the peas, butter and a pinch of salt. Remove from heat and let cool.
Making the Bechamel Sauce:
Warm the milk in a saucepan.
In a medium sauce pan melt equal parts butter and then the flour.
Whisk the flour and butter together and allow to simmer on low to cook the flour 1-2 minutes. The lightest (white color) roux will be slightly puffed.
Gradually add the warm milk and whisk to incorporate until a smooth sauce forms on low heat. Cook several minutes, sauce will thicken. Set aside.
Making the Bolognese Sauce:
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add the red pepper flakes. Saute for 30 seconds and add the onion.
Continue cooking on medium-high heat until the onion is soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, stirring constantly for 30 seconds.
Add the ground beef and sausage and brown meat over medium-high heat, breaking the meat apart into pieces with spoon. When cooked, drain the excess oil.
Add the Marinara Sauce Reserving 1 cup of tomato sauce for assembling the Lasagna, add the remainder of the Lasagna to the meat mixture and stir to combine.
Cover and allow the sauce to simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of water if it gets too thick and continue cooking to reduce.
Cooking the Lasagna pasta:
In a 9x13" baking dish, add the dry lasagna pasta and cover with hot water. Allow to rest for 20 minutes. Drain into a large colander.
Assembling the Lasagna:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
We will be making 3-4 layers of lasagna, so divide accordingly.
Start by spreading ¼ cup of the tomato sauce to the bottom of the baking dish. Layer on top with lasagna pasta to cover bottom.
Spread bolognese sauce over the noodles, followed by a layer of bechamel sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Repeat this 3-4 times to use up all pasta.
Finish top layer of the Lasagna with the remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for 30 minutes until top is golden brown and cheeses are bubbling. Allow the lasagna to rest for 15 minutes before serving.