Editor-in-Chief & Publisher: MIR JAVED RAHMAN


KEEP LAYERIN’


Issue Date 22 Oct - 28 Oct, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Classic Italian Lasagna

Classic Italian Lasagna
Ingredients
· Salt and white pepper to taste
· ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
· 1lb. ground beef
· 1½ lbs ricotta cheese
· 3 large eggs
· 1lb. lasagna sheets, cooked al denté
· 20oz. spinach, chopped, thawed and squeezed dry
· 3 cups mozzarella, shredded
· ¼ cup parmesan, freshly grated
· Béchamel sauce

For tomato sauce:
· ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 small onion, chopped
· 2 cloves garlic, chopped
· 1 stalk celery, chopped
· 1 carrot, chopped
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
· 2 cans crushed tomatoes
· 2 dried bay leaves
· 4tbsp unsalted butter, optional
· A pinch of ground nutmeg

Method
Preheat oven to 175ºC. In a sauté pan, heat extra-virgin olive oil. When almost smoking, add ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is brown in colour, break any large lumps. Remove from heat and drain excess fat. Set aside and allow to cool completely. For tomato sauce, heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until soft and translucent. Add celery and carrots, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until all the vegetables are soft then add tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer, uncovered, on low heat until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, a tablespoon at a time. Add half the sauce into a food processor and process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce and add nutmeg in the end.

In a medium sized bowl, thoroughly mix the ricotta and eggs. Season with salt and pepper then set aside. Spread one-third of the béchamel sauce into a 13x9-inch baking dish. Arrange the pasta sheets side by side, covering base of the dish. Evenly spread a layer of all the ricotta mixture and then a layer of all the spinach. Arrange another layer of pasta sheets and spread all the ground beef on top. Sprinkle half the mozzarella cheese on top of the beef then spread another one-third of the béchamel sauce. Arrange the final layer of pasta sheets and top with remaining béchamel, mozzarella and parmesan. Place the remaining butter on top. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place lasagna dish on top, cover and put on the middle rack of the oven. Bake until the top is bubbling, for about 30 minutes then remove cover and continue to bake for about 15 minutes.





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